John Stephen Jones left his legacy on the house his grandfather built.
Jones, the grandson of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, threw for a record 564 yards and four touchdowns —including the game-winning touchdown pass with 34 seconds remaining — to lift Highland Park to a 53-49 come-from-behind victory over Manvel and back-to-back UIL Class 5A Division I state championships, this time in front of 25,975 fans at AT&T Stadium.
“I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world,” said Jones, the game’s Offensive MVP. “I’m so proud to be a part of this. I can’t say enough of how proud I am of this team. They fought to the very end and never gave up. This team is unbelievable.”
Manvel (15-1) took a 49-39 lead after Kam Scott returned the kickoff for a state-record 97 yards for a touchdown with 6:27 remaining.
Jones accounted for the game’s final 14 points, starting with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:05 left that brought Highland Park (15-1) to within three points at 49-46.
The Scots recovered the onside kick and marched down field in nine plays, and on second-and-15, Jones found Cade Saustad in the end zone that gave Highland Park its first and only lead of the game.
Saustad had a team-high 210 receiving yards on 11 catches and three touchdowns.
Manvel came up a yard short from winning the game on the final play, when quarterback Kason Martin threw a 30-yard pass to Jalen Preston, who was tackled at the 1. Martin threw for 483 yards and five touchdowns, while Preston hauled in a UIL state record 220 yards on just five catches and three touchdowns.
Highland Park outscored Manvel 28-14 in the fourth quarter and scored 43 second-half points. The Scots had 646 total yards, while Manvel countered with 640 yards.
Manvel built a 21-7 first-half lead and Jones had to overcome a Manvel defense that had a state record eight sacks, including seven in the first half alone.