Home Features 2016 Playoffs Cinderellas Temple and Highland Park Play for State Title

Cinderellas Temple and Highland Park Play for State Title


Temple Wildcats (12-3) vs. Highland Park Scots (13-2)
Saturday, December 17 – 12:00 p.m.
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas

One Cinderella team will snare Prince Charming’s trophy when Temple and Highland Park meet for the Class 5A Division I state title.  Last week, both teams upset highly-favored opponents to reach the championship contest.

The Wildcats eliminated an unbeaten team for the second consecutive week by defeating Richmond Foster 31-24.  Defense played a pivotal role for Temple as Ashton Logan stripped the ball from receiver Cedarian Lamb following a catch at the Temple 3 in the game’s waning seconds.  Safety Ben Norman recovered the pigskin to seal the win.

“Temple tough is alive and well,” Wildcats head coach Scott Stewart told the Temple Daily Telegram.  “At this point you’re not going to play any bad teams, and the last two teams we’ve played are two of the most phenomenal high school teams I’ve ever seen.”

Quarterback Reid Hesse did most the damage with his arm, completing 11-of-17 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns, a 34-yarder to D’yonte Heckstall and an 89-yarder to Zaccheus Johnson.  For the season, Hesse has thrown for 3,626 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Anthony Jefferson gained only 34 yards on 11 carries.  But his second-half scoring runs of 3 and 2 yards provided the winning margin for the Wildcats.  The victory over Richmond Foster brought Temple’s all-time win total to 749, fourth best in Texas schoolboy history.

Highland Park also downed undefeated Denton Ryan 31-24 to reach the championship contest.  A broken collarbone to running back Jacob Urbanczyk forced the Scots to turn to former third-stringer Paxton Alexander.

Alexander, who came into the game with 69 carries for 317 yards, responded with 137 rushing yards on 31 carries including touchdown runs of 3 and 2 yards.   He also caught six passes for 68 yards and scored on catches of 3 and 11 yards.

Quarterback John Stephen Jones, son of Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, completed 15-of-25 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.  In 2016, Jones has passed for 2,958 yards with 29 touchdowns.  The triumph over Denton Ryan gave the Scots 800 all-time wins, the most in Texas high school history.

“It feels great,” Highland Park head coach Randy Allen told the Dallas Morning News.  “This team has been resilient.  We’ve overcome a lot of things to get here.”

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