The Crowley Eagles’ comfortable three-touchdown lead over Fort Worth Arlington Heights had been cut to three points in the span of five plays when Crowley coach Chris James delivered a simple message to his team on the sideline.
“You better score. That’s it. Bottom line,” James said he told his team. “We’ve got to get the ball, we’ve got to drive down the field, we’ve got to put points on the board.”
The Eagles responded, scoring 21 unanswered points after Heights’ third quarter run to put away the Yellow Jackets 45-21 on Thursday night at Burleson Stadium.
With the win, Crowley (10-1) advanced to the Class 4A Division I area round, where it will play at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22 against the winner of Friday’s bi-district game between Trophy Club Nelson and Birdville. If Nelson wins, the game will be at Pennington Field in Bedford, and if Birdville advances, it’ll be held at Brewer Stadium in Fort Worth.
Crowley controlled much of Thursday’s game, jumping out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter and entering halftime up 24-7. But Heights (5-6) reeled off an 11-play, 70-yard drive to open the third quarter. Then, on the second play of Crowley’s next drive, quarterback Matt Marner threw an interception, setting Heights up on the Eagles’ 20-yard-line.
Two plays later, Deion Hair’Griffin hit Larry Johnson for a 9-yard touchdown pass, cutting Crowley’s lead to 24-21.
But that’s when the Eagles’ rushing attack ignited. Dalonzo Freeman had 57 yards rushing on five carries the next drive, including a two-yard touchdown run. Marner hit Tayvohn Glover for a 21-yard touchdown pass on Crowley’s next drive, and Jimmie Hughes had a 1-yard touchdown run on the Eagles’ next possession.
Hughes, Freeman and Marner each had rushing scores.