By Bob Kowalski
Summit threw a couple of fourth-quarter scares into top-ranked Denton Ryan, but couldn’t keep up with the state power Raiders in a 49-35 loss in the Class 5A Division I state football semifinal at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday night.
Summit, which trailed from the first quarter, twice pulled within a score in the fourth quarter before Denton Ryan turned back the Jaguars by scoring three late touchdowns to return to the state championship game for the second consecutive season.
After leading 21-13 at halftime, Ryan padded the lead with a 36-yard TD pass from Seth Henigan to Billy Bowman for a two-score lead. After the teams traded punts, Summit opened eyes when on first down, quarterback David Hopkins found receiver Hal Presley alone on a deep route for a 79-yard touchdown pass, reducing Ryan’s lead to 28-20 with 1:38 left in the third quarter.
A series of penalties moved Ryan from its 20-yard line to its 5 on the next drive, giving Summit field position when the Jaguars forced a punt and started their next drive at the Ryan 44-yard line. Hopkins’ 2-yard touchdown run put Summit within a point at 28-27 with 10:40 left in the game.
Summit forced another Ryan punt but was pinned down inside its own 15-yard line. Presley’s punt attempt from the goal line was blocked, and the Raiders scored on the next play for a 35-27 lead. On Summit’s next possession, the Raiders defense scored its second touchdown of the game when DJ Arkansas picked off a pass and returned for a score and a 42-27 lead with just over 6 minutes left.
The Raiders held Summit on its next drive, and opened up a 49-27 lead with an 18-yard touchdown run by Ke’ori Hicks with 2 minutes left.
The Jaguars weren’t finished yet. Jalon Rock returned the kickoff to the Denton Ryan 2-yard line, and Hopkins scooted in to pull within 49-35, but Ryan ran out the clock.
Summit got within 8 points at halftime when Hopkins scored on a keeper to the corner of the end zone as time ran out, cutting Denton Ryan’s lead to 21-13. Hopkins’ 35-yard heave to Presley put the Jaguars at the Raiders’ 5-yard line with 2 seconds left in the half, setting up the scoring run.
Summit opened the game with an offensive highlight when Hopkins hit Presley on a 46-yard pass on the Jaguars’ third play of the game. The drive stalled there, though. Summit forced a Raiders punt and took over on the Summit 14-yard line. However, Denton Ryan’s defense forced a fumble and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead at 7:13 of the first quarter.
After Denton Ryan held Summit and forced a punt, the Raiders took a 14-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Anthony Hill Jr. 8 minutes into the game. The Raiders tried an onside kick after that score, and it backfired. Summit’s Jordan Riley caught the kick in the air and bolted up the sideline to the Ryan 23-yard line.
After a 1-yard loss, Summit coach Channon Hall called a timeout, which paid off for the Jaguars. On the next play, Keon Hobbs shot through a gap in the line and went 24 yards for a touchdown, cutting Ryan’s lead to 14-7 with just over 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Jaguars started the second quarter with a big defensive play when linebacker Elijah Lewison snagged an interception near midfield. But Ryan logged a turnover of its own when Billy Bowman leaped to intercept a pass and returned it 100 yards for a would-be touchdown that was nullified by a block-in-the-back penalty. Summit’s defense held, but Ryan forced another turnover on the Jaguars’ next drive.
Quarterback Seth Henigan led a 65-yard scoring drive, pitching in with back-to-back quarterback keepers to put the Raiders at Summit’s 6-yard line. Henigan’s TD pass to Bowman put the Raiders up 21-7 with 1:38 left in the half, setting up Summit’s scoring drive to end the first half.
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