By Bob Kowalski
Summit’s football team has advanced deeper into the playoffs than any other Jaguarsteam, and extended its season into the new year during a highly unusual season.
Summit (8-4) meets fifth-ranked Denton Ryan (13-0) in the Class 5A Division I state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The game will be televised on CW33. Online tickets can be purchased at https://attstadium.com/events/.
Summit has survived some close scares to move through the playoffs, and through its season, which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and featured multiple last-minute changes to the schedule.
The Jaguars started the season 1-2, with losses to ISD rival Mansfield and a resounding 63-26 defeat by Ennis in the third week of the season. But Summit clicked after that, winning seven of its next nine games, including the final regular-season game and four playoff contests.
Among those playoff wins was a 41-38 decision over Red Oak last week to avenge Summit’s regular season loss to the Hawks. The Jaguars scored 27 second-half points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to erase Red Oak’s lead and advance to the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
This is the deepest playoff run for a Mansfield ISD team since 2015, when Lake Ridge reached the state final and Mansfield advanced to the state semifinals.
In the win over Red Oak, multi-talented quarterback David Hopkins passed for 177 yards and two touchdownsand rushed for 46 yards and another score. For the season, the junior has thrown for more than 1,500 yards and 16 TDs. He keeps defenses honest with his feet too, rushing for 562 yards and nine TDs.
Hopkins’ favorite target is senior Hal Presley, who has caught 43 passes for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns, a remarkable rate of a score for every 2.6 touches.
On the ground, Summit has a wealth of options, led by Jaydon Lott (771 yards, 9 TDs) and Keon Hobbs (731 yards, 4 TDs). In all, six Summit rushers have scored touchdowns.
The Jaguars defense boasts its own set of stars. Three Summit defenders have three interceptions each: Ahmaad Moses, Jalon Rock and Sean Smith. Moses leads the team in total tackles (91), trailed closely by Kamren Washington (90 tackles, 17 sacks).
Denton Ryan is trying to reach the state final for the second consecutive year. The Raiders lost to Alvin Shadow Creek in the 2019 state final. In 2018, they lost in the semifinals to eventual state champion Highland Park, which was Ryan’s last playoff victim this season.
The Raiders had a stretch in which they topped 40 points in 9 of 11 games, including a playoff-opening 69-6 win over Dallas Adams followed by a 52-21 second-round victory over College Station.
The winner of Friday’s matchup will meet the winner of the other semifinal between Cedar Park and Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial for the Class 5A Division I state championship on Jan. 15 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
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