UNIVERSITY PARK -- Maybe it was DeSoto's goal-line stand or the turnover that the Eagles finally forced late against Southlake Carroll.
Whatever the talk, Carroll coach Hal Wasson and DeSoto coach Claude Mathis were in agreement that Saturday's Class 5A Division I Region I final was one for the ages.
"We've been in a lot of them. It was a great football game, and obviously we're a little disappointed right now," Wasson said. "What we think really doesn't matter about the ending, but that happens against great football teams like DeSoto."
Mathis' Eagles will move on to a state semifinal matchup against Allen.
"For us to finally get one, get that key turnover in this game was huge," Mathis said. "They've finished it off so many times and at least that turnover may have taken away one opportunity to do it."
After DeSoto took the lead late, it was Bryce English who stuck his hand out just quick enough to jar the ball loose and let the Eagles stave off a score.
Defensive back Nick Orr recovered for DeSoto, and although the Eagles didn't cash in the turnover, the possession ate into what little time Carroll had left.
Still, with some magic left, the Dragons held up Desmon White on fourth-and-3 to earn one final shot.
Quarterback Kenny Hill, however, came up short at the goal line. Wasson said he'd give Hill the ball again, every time.
"Certainly with a crystal ball we might do something different," Wasson said. "But he's our leader, he's been the guy for us now three seasons. If anyone wants to talk after the fact they can come to me, we're going to give the ball to Kenny."
Hill was spectacular with five rushing touchdowns, 98 yards on the ground and 17 completed passes for 342 yards and another score.
"In a lot of ways, we were better than last year's team," Hill said. "Things played out the way they did, we bounced back after the fumble with a huge stop. Obviously, this was a great team. We're like brothers out there and disappointed."
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