Fort Worth Arlington Heights opened the season with four consecutive losses, but a fourth consecutive victory Thursday opened a door to the playoffs.
The Yellow Jackets clinched a playoff berth out of District 7-4A with a 56-17 victory against their west side rival, Fort Worth Western Hills, at Farrington Field.
Quarterback Deion Hair-Griffin accounted for 312 total yards, including 123 rushing, and three passing touchdowns, and running back Kameron Hill rushed for three touchdowns.
“After the first win, we told them, we’ve got to practice like a playoff team,” said coach Phil Young, whose team improved to 4-4 and 4-1 in 7-4A. “That’s been our motto. Now we feel like we’re a playoff team.”
Heights, which finishes the regular season against Fort Worth Southwest and Granbury, clinched a playoff bid by virtue of victories against South Hills and Trimble Tech.
Western Hills (0-8, 0-5), playing in the glow of unwanted publicity generated by controversy in the wake of last week’s 91-0 loss to Aledo, took two leads early in the game and appeared poised to cut a 25-point deficit to 11 in the third quarter. But those hopes were dashed with Kendall Washington’s 72-yard fumble return, followed by Larry Johnson’s 20-yard scoring reception — Hair-Griffin’s third TD pass.
Hill, who had 124 yards on 15 carries, scored the first of his three first-half touchdowns on Heights’ initial possession, with a 5-yard run. Hill also scored on runs of 3 and 12 yards. Hair-Griffin accounted for the last of the Yellow Jackets’ 28 first-half points with a 35-yard scoring pass to Elijah Pierson, who had two touchdown receptions.
Jordan Little hauled in a 12-yard pass from A.J. Daniels to put the Cougars up early. Phillip Calzada’s 25-yard field goal gave the Cougars a second lead. Raekwon Neal led Western Hills with 105 yards rushing and 66 receiving.
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