DENTON — Cedar Hill used five touchdowns and 302 rushing yards combined from Larry Hill and Aca’cedric Ware to knock off Denton Ryan 52-29 in a Class 5A Division II state quarterfinal game Monday at Apogee Stadium.
The Longhorns (12-2) advance to meet Lake Travis (12-1) in a game set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. Ryan, which finished its season at 10-3, had a hard time running the ball, but picked up 191 yards in the air.
Ryan couldn’t find a way to slow down Cedar Hill early as the Longhorns scored on their first three drives to open a 20-0 lead. During that span the Longhorns converted three fourth-down attempts, while the Raiders were 0 for 3 on third-down attempts.
Damarkus Lodge, who finished with 66 yards on three rushes and three receptions for 47 yards, capped the 11-play opening drive with a 28-yard touchdown run. Hill, who rushed for 133 yards and four scores, finished off the next two drives with scoring runs of 44 yards and 1 yard.
Brooks Ralph added a 38-yard field goal with two seconds left in the half to make it 23-0 at intermission.
Ryan, which trailed Keller Fossil Ridge 31-0 in its last game before winning 42-37, tried to make a similar comeback. Paul Hunter returned a fumble on Cedar Hill’s first drive of the second half to make it 23-7. After forcing a turnover on downs, quarterback Mitchell Bridges hit Trent Willis on a 64-yard strike to close the gap to 23-15 after a 2-point conversion.
Lodge then stepped up, scampering 39 yards to push Cedar Hill’s lead to 31-15 after a 2-point conversion. Ryan answered with a 1-yard scoring run by Bridges. The conversion made it 31-23.
Cedar Hill then scored on its next three drives to make it 52-23, before a late Ryan score.
During those three drives, Hill had scoring runs of 1 and 6 yards and Ware, with 169 yards rushing for the game, added a 22-yarder.
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