For the second time in as many weeks, the Wildcat varsity fell to a district opponent, this time by only a 7 point margin. But the final score doesn’t reflect the struggle and
partial comeback for the Wildcats in the September 30 game at Hebron’s Hawks Stadium “woodshed.”
The teams spent the 1st quarter testing each other’s defense, with neither finding a weakness. No score.
Minutes into the 2nd quarter Hebron began an offensive drive that took them into the red zone, where Plano’s goal-line defense proved stingy but not impregnable. With the aid of a penalty, Hebron finally broke through with 8:12 left in the half and put 7 on the board. Plano put up less resistance when Hebron scored again six minutes later, building a 14-0 lead. But with 2:01 left in the half, Plano’s offense scrapped their way to mid-field, finding themselves in a 4th and 4 yard situation with 59 seconds left on the clock.
After a long official’s time out due to time-clock malfunction, when the play resumed quarterback #21 Richard Lagow returned to the field – Plano would go for it. And it turned out to be one of the highlights of the night for Plano when Lagow passed to #19 Kevin Merrill in first-down territory. But Merrill never broke stride as he carried the ball into the end zone to put Plano on the scoreboard for the first time of the night. Merrill then put the cherry on top with a successful PAT kick and it was a 14-7 game with 51 seconds remaining in the half. Hebron responded by running down the clock and taking a knee in the final play of the half to send the teams into the locker room.
Plano opened the second half by kicking off, and Hebron responded by slicing through Plano’s special team squad for a touchdown on the return. The PAT was good, and fifteen seconds into the 3rd quarter Hebron was up 21-7. Midway through the quarter Plano responded with a Merrill field goal, inching closer to Hebron, 21-10. Hebron snapped back quickly and sharply thirty seconds later with a breakaway reception for a touchdown and PAT, extending the Hawks lead to 28-10. Plano fumbled with 3:03 left in the quarter, giving Hebron field position to score.
And in the first play of the 4th quarter Hebron kicked a field goal, putting them up 31-10. But the Wildcats didn’t give up. With the Hawks apparently dialed in on Merrill, #22 Rakeem Crawford found the end zone twice for the Wildcats, first with 7:07 left in the game, and the second time with 4:46 remaining. With Merrill’s last PAT the scoring ended, and the Hawks were able to put a 31-24 win into the record book, ending a multi-year drought against Plano’s varsity.
Highlights from the stands (Unofficial)- Passing: #21 Lagow 17 for 27 and 179 yards and no Int’s . . . Receiving: #24 Hunter Gore 6 catches for 74 yards, #19 Merrill 5 for 60 yards and 1 TD, #22 Crawford 3 for 18 yards, #9 Anthony Antwine 1 for 14 yards, and #25 L.J. Ausama 2 for 13 yards . . . Rushing: #19 Merrill 16 carries for 64 yards, #22 Crawford 7 for 63 yards and 2 TD’s, #21 Lagow 4 for -6 . . . #32 Cole Eckeberger punted 4 times for a 31 yard average . . . #19 Merrill was 3-3 on PAT’s, plus one FG . . . Leading tackler appeared to be #40 Stephen Collins . . . Pass break up by #32 Eckeberger.
Odds & Ends-Plano had 18 first downs . . . 179 yards passing, 121 rushing . . . appeared to have 4 penalties for 27 yards . . . one fumble lost . . . no obnoxious big-rig air