Rowlett nearly gave the game away to Skyline on Saturday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium. In the area round of the Class 6A Division I bracket, the two teams battled to a 24-21 score (in favor of Rowlett) with less than three minutes to go.
Skyline's monstrous defensive front (led by Texas Tech commit Joseph Wallace - a 310-pound defensive tackle) halted Rowlett on third down, forcing a tough decision for Rowlet Head Coach Doug Stephens.
Should he go for it on fourth-and-8 to get a fresh set of downs and nab the win, kick a 45-yard field goal into the wind, or punt?
Rowlett attempted a trick play that resulted in an interception. Skyline returned the pick deep into Rowlett territory but couldn't score the go-ahead touchdown. On fourth down, the Raiders tried a tying field goal, but it was blocked by Rowlett senior Jalen Penn.
Rowlett won, 24-21, and advanced to play Atascocita in the next round.
Stephens laughingly thanked his players postgame for bailing him out. He lauded their heart and determination.
Skyline senior running back Da'Leon Ward played his final game and ran for 291 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries.