Mansfield Legacy didn’t do much for most of the night, yet the Broncos were one play away from sending the game into overtime.
On fourth-and-goal from the 9, quarterback Kendall Catalon’s pass attempt to Troy Edwards Jr. in the end zone was batted down by George Stewart and Dallas Highland Park hung on to win the Class 5A Division I state football quarterfinal 14-7 at AT&T Stadium on Friday night.
“I hate that we lost, hate it for these kids – they’re so special to me, but it happens,” said coach Chris Melson of Legacy (11-3). “We sure thought we were going to win, but I have no regrets, these kids did a great job.”
Highland Park (12-2) advances to the state semifinals Dec. 10 at The Star in Frisco against the winner of Denton Ryan and Colleyville Heritage, who play 10:30 a.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
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Leading up to the game, the question was whether Catalon would play after suffering a separated left shoulder and missing the second half of last week’s win over Frisco Wakeland.
The senior did play and nearly made more history for the Broncos, who were already on their longest playoff run ever.
“Kendall Catalon is so tough,” Melson said. “He had a separated shoulder and played like a champion all night.”
After going scoreless for the first 19 minutes, Highland Park finally struck first with a 15-yard touchdown pass from John Stephen Jones, the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, to Parker Alexander for a 7-0 lead with 4:40 left in the second quarter.
The Scots increased their lead to 14-0 with 5:32 left in the third quarter when Jones hit Paxton Alexander on a third-and-goal from the 25.
Sophomore Jalen Catalon, Kendall’s younger brother, had two interceptions.
Legacy responded with an 18-play, 80-yard drive that took over eight minutes. Catalon threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Keaton Dennis on fourth-and-8 with 7:06 to play.
“Just a great effort by both teams, both playing their hearts out and we needed one more play and we just came up short,” Melson said. “But I couldn’t be more proud of my football team – the way they fought and hung in there to have a chance to win the game.”
Kendall Catalon threw for 110 yards and one touchdown, and ran for 69 yards on 18 carries for Legacy. Trent McDonald had eight catches for 57 yards.