Irving – In a first round playoff instant classic, Cedar Hill came back from down 28-0 at halftime, to eventually win 52-49 in triple over time over the Wolves of Plano West.
The first half of the game was all about Plano West. The offense was run to perfection, the defense played well, and the Wolves found themselves with a 28-0 lead after their opening drive of the 3rd quarter.
Plano West went ahead in the 1st quarter with a power run by Darius Cohen up the middle from 4 yards out to take a 7-0 lead after the extra point was declared good by the officials. 2 minutes later, Cohen darted through the defense 37 yards to the end zone to help increase the howling Wolves lead to 14 points.
Plano West nearly stumbled as they faked a 21 yard FG attempt. Travis Wilson (holder) threw a pass directed towards his outbound receiver, but a Longhorn steered his way in the general direction of the pass and picked it off.
On the next offensive set, this time from Cedar Hill, Nathan Broussard stepped didn't need to move to intercept a pass from Driphus Jackson as it looked like the pass was intended for the defense.
With 5:25 to go in the second quarter, Cohen once again ran the ball 37 yards into 6-point land. The score at this point was 21-0 in favor of the underdogs, Plano West.
Less than 2 minutes into the 3rd quarter, Cohen was at it again. He scored his 4th strait touchdown of the night from 24 yards out to give the Wolves a dominating 28-0 lead. However, that would not be enough as Cedar Hill began to roll from this point onward.
Plano West attempted the onside kick and it was recovered by Cedar Hill at their 41 yard line. The Longhorns would capitalize on an 8 play drive ending with a Ben Malena catch as he beat the safety towards the middle of the field. The Longhorn Band was finally able to play Eyes of Texas for the first time during the game. Cedar Hill cut the lead to 21 points with 8:33 to remaining in the 3rd quarter.
After a bad snap to the Plano West punter on their next drive, Cedar Hill was awarded the ball inside their own end zone at the 8 yard line. It took only one play as Malena got his 2nd touchdown of the night, countering the defense for the touchdown. The extra point cut the lead once again, to 28-14.
Cedar Hill followed up holding Plano West to a 3-and-out. After the quick kick was downed at the 26 yard line, Malena took 2 consecutive hand offs. The first one went for 11 yards and the second went 62 yards for the touchdown. 28-21 with 4:17 left in the 3rd quarter. Could Cedar Hill be making the comeback of a lifetime?
To answer the question, yes! With just over a minute and a half left in the 3rd quarter, Cedar Hill got tricky. They ran a wide receiver reverse pass in which Le'derian Cockrane hit John Coleman on the streak for a 39 yard touchdown pass tying the game at 28.
Cedar Hill would finally get their first lead of the game via the hand off to Malena from 3 yards out with 10:37 left in the game, capping a 5 play drive.
Chase Hutcheson wanted desperately to get his Wolves back in front, but a tie needed to come first. With that he decided that a blocked punt was a good way to go. On 4th and 15 from the 32 yard line, he dove in front of the punt and blocked it, yielding 7 yard punt. Plano west would be held on their first 3 plays but on 4th and 11 from the 34 with just under 2 minutes to go, junior wide receiver Sean Ballard came up with a huge 1st down catching the pass then running to the 17 yard line. With 2 receivers on both sides of the line, Travis Wilson kept the ball to himself and plowed 7 yards to tie the game at 35-35 with 1:13 to go.
Cedar Hill tried to get their offense going again. In doing so, they went for the out route and Xavier Johnson jumped the route and intercepted the errant pass returning it to the 18 yard line. With the leg Ryan Solano has everyone thought the game was in the bag. On the next pass, Cohen ran the ball and spotted it on the left hash. Ryan Solano's 29 yard attempt would go wide right and we were headed to overtime.
The first overtime started with Plano West opening up with possession. On only their 2nd down, from the 23 yard line, Wilson hooked up with Drew Hawley on the deep post and after the extra point; we had a 42-35 Plano West lead.
The Longhorns shot themselves in the hooves on the ensuing drive. On 2nd and 12 from the 27, Jackson Jeffcoat mauled Malena as he was stuffed for a loss of 2. A personal foul against the offense for an illegal block would be declined by the Wolves to set up a 4th and 24 from the 29. With all eyes focused on the receivers, Jackson dropped back, looked for an open receiver.
When one wasn't found he scrambled to the left, cocked his arm and fired towards a double teamed Harper. Harper leaped in the air and with both hands on the ball, needing not to drop it, he backpedaled into the end zone. With a 42-42 score, the game headed into double overtime.
In the second overtime, Cedar Hill put together a solid drive capped by a 5 yard run from Brandon Davis giving the Longhorns a 49-42 lead. But it would only take the Wolves on play to retie the game as Stephen Anderson caught a 25 yard pass in the end zone. We headed to triple overtime tied at 49.
In the third overtime Plano West was forced to call a time out with 4th and 12. They decided to go for it instead of kicking the field goal. In the process Wilson scrambled and scrambled but couldn't quite get anything going and was sacked for a turn over on downs.
As Cedar Hill took possession on the 25 yard line, they knew that it was their destiny to come out with at least a field goal. Things got scary for them when Malena fumbled the ball on the 6 yard line. After he recovered, Coach McGuire decided that enough is enough and sent in the kicker.
From 22 yards out, the kick was up and through the uprights. Cedar Hill had the comeback of a lifetime and it was quite possibly a top 10 game in first round Texas high school football playoff history as they ended up winning the triple overtime thriller 52-49.