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Second half surge races Cowboys past Jaguars as state title dreams remain alive

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Coppell Cowboys senior quarterback Brady McBride escapes Mesquite Horn freshman linebacker Kendrick Blackshire during the fourth quarter of the Class 6A Division I Region II area playoffs on Friday at Allen Eagle Stadium. The Cowboys advance to the next round of playoffs after defeating the Jaguars, 34-24.

Coppell Cowboys senior quarterback Brady McBride escapes Mesquite Horn freshman linebacker Kendrick Blackshire during the fourth quarter of the Class 6A Division I Region II area playoffs on Friday at Allen Eagle Stadium. The Cowboys advance to the next round of playoffs after defeating the Jaguars, 34-24.

Karis Thomas

Karis Thomas

Coppell Cowboys senior quarterback Brady McBride escapes Mesquite Horn freshman linebacker Kendrick Blackshire during the fourth quarter of the Class 6A Division I Region II area playoffs on Friday at Allen Eagle Stadium. The Cowboys advance to the next round of playoffs after defeating the Jaguars, 34-24.

Amelia Vanyo and Lili Lomas

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ALLEN – With a 34-24 victory over the Mesquite Horn Jaguars on Friday at Allen Eagle Stadium, the Coppell Cowboys football team is advancing to round three of playoffs, showing that the quest for the state title is not far beyond its reach.

 

The Cowboys (11-1) will play Round Rock Cedar Ridge at 7 p.m. Saturday at McLane Stadium in Waco in the Class 6A Division I Region II semifinals.

 

At first, the teams’ performances seemed to outline a close game, ending the first quarter tied at 7. During the second quarter, though Coppell scored a touchdown with a pass from senior quarterback Brady McBride to junior wide receiver Blake Jackson. Coppell struggled  to keep up as the Jaguars were able to score two touchdowns and a field goal, leaving the Cowboys trailing  24-14 at the half.

 

A Cowboy victory was in sight by the end of the third quarter as Coppell picked up the pace while the Jaguars stagnated, ending the quarter at 24-21.  The comeback began with an interception by junior free safety Justin Murray at the one yard line followed by  several plays and ultimately a 27-yard touchdown by junior wide receiver Jonathan McGill to bring the Cowboys to within three. Two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter pulled Coppell up to take the lead 34-24.

 

Game highlights included a 59-yard pass from McBride to senior tight end Reece Walker, a 12-yard touchdown run by McBride and McGill’s 43-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Coppell Cowboys junior wide receiver Jonathan McGill celebrates following an interception against Mesquite Horn during the second quarter of the Class 6A Division I Region II area playoffs on Friday at Allen Eagle Stadium. The Cowboys advance to the next round of playoffs after defeating the Jaguars, 34-24.

Despite falling behind during the first half, the team maintained its confidence.

 

“We felt like we were [going to win] the whole game, even at halftime being down,” Coppell coach Mike DeWitt said. “No one thought we were going to lose the game.”

 

The team didn’t change its strategy or do anything different in terms of preparation for the game or during the game. Both DeWitt and the team were confident that if they were consistent with how the team had been performing and practicing, they would come out with the win.

 

“I think today’s game was just a testament to how our team is and how we never give up, we always fight,” McGill said.  “We were down at halftime and came out the second half and put on a show so I think this was a good definition of what Coppell Cowboys football is.”

 

The Cowboys worked hard to make it to the next round and avoid the offseason that will follow a loss at playoffs.

 

“I told the team, I’m really not trying to go to offseason so everybody just came together and we came out victorious,” McGill said.

 

Not only will the players get to enjoy at least one more game on the field, Coppell’s win against Horn gives senior “Coach Cole” Bryant a chance to coach his team a little bit longer.

 

“It feels great,” Bryant’s father Mark Bryant said. “I’m so excited that Cole gets to go to another round, he just enjoys the whole season, and when the season ends it ends.”

The Coppell Cowboys football team poses with its Class 6A Division I Region II area championship trophy after its 34-24 victory against the Mesquite Horn Jaguars on Friday at Allen Eagle Stadium. The Cowboys will play the Round Rock Cedar Ridge Raiders next Saturday at Baylor’s McLane Stadium in Waco at 7 p.m.

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Second half surge races Cowboys past Jaguars as state title dreams remain alive