High School Sports

Special teams, defense spark Trophy Club Nelson over Fossil Ridge

Josh Johnson returned a blocked field-goal attempt 99 yards for a touchdown and added an interception in the second half as Trophy Club Nelson beat Keller Fossil Ridge 27-13 Friday night at Northwest ISD Stadium.

The game didn’t affect playoff outcomes for either team. Fossil Ridge (7-3 overall, 4-3 District 5-6A) was already guaranteed the district’s second seed in Division II. The Panthers will play either McKinney Boyd or Plano at 5 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

“I didn’t have them ready to play,” Fossil Ridge coach Tony Baccarini said. “We found out [Friday] morning, point-wise, we were in. You can’t lie and tell them any different.”

Nelson (3-7, 2-5) was eliminated before Friday’s game.

The Bobcats capped their first season in the state’s highest classification with a win behind strong performances on defense and special teams.

Fossil Ridge scored on its first possession, a 4-yard run from Keshawn Mitchell, but the Panthers struggled to get going the rest of the game.

After Nelson stuffed Mitchell on fourth-and-goal from the 1, quarterback Preston Haire and running back Courtney Miles keyed a 99-yard drive. The game was tied by Haire’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Chase Flickinger in the corner of the end zone.

Ridge lined up for a 40-yard field goal attempt at the end of the half. But the ball was tipped at the line, and then caught by Johnson at his own 1. Johnson, a defensive back who returns punts for Nelson, raced around the right side of Ridge’s scrambling field goal team and up the sideline for the long touchdown to end the half.

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