Cedar Hill holds off Abilene Cooper, reaches state quarterfinals

Posted Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In a game in which Cedar Hill ran the ball 40 times, Damarkus Lodge’s reception on an onside kick by Abilene Cooper sealed the win for the Longhorns in the Class 5A Division II regionals 28-23.

“I knew one of us had to get the ball because the game was on the line, so I knew I had to go get it,” said Lodge, who had six pass receptions for 41 yards.

Cedar Hill (11-2) advances to the Class 5A Division II state quarterfinals against Denton Ryan. The game will be played at Midlothian or Denton at a date and time to be determined.

The Longhorns had built a 28-10 lead with two third-quarter touchdowns. Lodge’s 49-yard punt return set up quarterback Justin McMillan to find Denver Daniels for a 20-yard touchdown. Larry Hill put the Longhorns up 18 with a 5-yard run, the second touchdown of the game for the senior running back, who finished with 84 yards on 14 touches.

Cooper (8-5) refused to go away. The Cougars battled back with Trey Dye, a BYU commit, scoring from 5 yards out and quarterback Lorenzo Joe connecting with Aaron Anderson in the corner of the end zone on a 28-yard reception.

Cooper jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when the Cougars ran a reverse and wide receiver Denver Gravitt found Joe wide open for a 30-yard reception midway through the first quarter. Joe has committed to Texas to play wide receiver.

Hill, however, raced into the end zone from 11 yards out on the Longhorns’ next possession to even the score 7-7.

“We knew we could come out and win if we just did our job, and I couldn’t have scored without my offensive line,” Hill said.

Cedar Hill’s offensive line helped the Longhorns amass 250 yards on the ground.

“We were getting some big yards in the run game, so we stuck with that and found a way to grind it out,” Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire said.

Cooper kicker Zach Lehr belted a 48-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter to put the Cougars up 10-7. That would be Cooper’s last lead.

Aca’cedric Ware capped a 14-play, 81-yard drive that took over five minutes off the clock with a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Longhorns a 14-10 lead. Ware led the Longhorns with 143 yards on 14 carries.

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