Richland’s first playoff victory in 32 years didn’t come easy.
The Rebels’ Shamar Johnson scored on a 7-yard run with 35 seconds remaining for a 42-35 come-from-behind victory against Fort Worth South Hills in a Class 5A Division I bi-district game Friday at Rough Rider Stadium.
Richland (10-1), which earned its first postseason win since 1984, will face Denton Ryan (11-0) in the area round. The Scorpions (10-1) led 35-21 at the half. But the Rebels scored the game’s final 21 points.
Rylee Johnson, who rushed for 67 yards and three touchdowns, scored on an 8-yard run in the third quarter to cut the Richland deficit to 35-28. His 1-yard run with 8:26 remaining in the fourth quarter drew the Rebels even 35-all.
After a South Hills punt, Richland drove 86 yards in under four minutes for the winning score. A 37-yard run by Trae Self got the Rebels down to the 6-yard line with 51 seconds remaining. Self passed for 319 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 73 and a score.
Two plays after Self’s run, Johnson weaved through a pack of South Hills defenders on a 7-yard run to give Richland its first lead of the game.
Dashaun White intercepted a South Hills pass with four seconds left to clinch the victory.
Trey Jones passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns for the Scorpions and also ran for 70 yards and a score.
South Hills twice scored on consecutive possessions without giving the ball back to the Rebels (9-2). The Scorpions built a 14-0 before Richland took its first offensive snap. Tylan Wallace scored on an 11-yard on the game’s opening drive.
On the ensuing kickoff, South Hills recovered a Rebels fumble and took over at the Richland 30. Four plays later, Jones threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Wallace to extend the lead to 14-0.
South Hills found similar special teams success late in the second quarter. Kyran Jackson scored on a 3-yard run to give the Scorpions a 28-21 lead with 1:16 to go in the first half.
South Hills then recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Richland 6 after the Rebels returner failed to field the high kick. Two plays later, Jones rushed in from 11 yards out for a 35-21.
The Scorpions had a chance to take a 38-28 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the 27-yard try was blocked.