The Arlington Colts came out with a lot of swagger before their 3rd round matchup with Cedar Hill yesterday in Mansfield. Several Colts broke pregame etiquette, crossing midfield and taunting Longhorn players. I’m not sure it would be accurate to say the move backfired, because I’m not sure the attempt to get Cedar Hill off their game and into their heads fazed the ‘Horns at all. The Longhorns may have played their best game of the season, dominating on both sides of the ball to win 49-14.
The big play of the game occurred early. Late in the first quarter, with the score tied at 7, Safety Jonathan Buffin intercepted a Colt pass and took it back 64 yards for a Longhorn score. From there on out it was all Cedar Hill, scoring the next 35 points before Arlington finally scored a meaningless touchdown in the final minutes against Cedar Hill backups. It’s encouraging that Cedar Hill seems to be playing better every week. As I’ve heard a few times this week, “There are no more turkeys after turkey day”, and the Longhorns will need to keep playing well next week against an undefeated Hewitt Midway in the regional championship next Saturday. That said, if they play as well as they did against Arlington, the Longhorns will be very hard to beat.
In doing this, I’ve become very invested in the teams I’ve spend time with. I’ve grown to know and respect the coaches, kids and other people I’ve met at each of my eleven schools. So, for me, the bad part of yesterday had nothing to do with Cedar Hill but with what was occurring up the road between Midway and Abilene High. An Eagle win would have set up a meeting between Cedar Hill and Abilene, two teams I know very well and rematch of an epic game between these two schools during the 2009 playoffs. It looked great until the end when Midway came from behind in an improbable comeback in the final seconds. Heartbreaking lose for the Eagles, but it takes nothing away from their program. I met great coaches and people in the city of Abilene, I’m just sorry that I won’t a chance to see them play again this season.
Of my original 11 programs, 4 will be playing next weekend, as well as Stamford and Cedar Hill, Carthage advanced to the 3A-DI semifinal and Throckmorton to the 6-man semi. This coming Friday, I will be in Beaumont to see Carthage play El Campo for a spot in the state championship. Saturday, I’ll return to the Metroplex to see Cedar Hill play against Hewitt Midway at Midlothian.