I don’t know if I have ever seen an offense click as much as Cedar Hill’s the past two weeks. After a dominating game against Arlington in round three, it seemed that the ceiling should have been reached. But this week against Waco Midway, the Longhorn offense took things to a new level. The Cedar Hill offense was almost flawless in their execution. It’s a given that Cedar Hill has a lot of speed and will make big, athletic plays. What’s missed in watching the highlights is the consistency of this unit. With 56 offensive plays, Cedar Hill had zero penalties, were 4 for 4 on 4th down conversions, quarterback Damion Hobbs was 18-20 and 199 yards. On the ground Hobbs, Larry Hill and Laquvionte Gonzalez combined for 239 yards on 39 carries. They were sharp, clean and versatile, hurting the Panthers with long passes, screens, pounding the ball inside and getting to the edge.
For all that, the big play of the game was made by the ‘Horn defense. Leading 21-14 in the second, the Panthers had a first and goal from the 2. A bad snap set up a 3rd down from 20. Attempting to pass, the Panther quarterback was hit from behind, losing the ball. Bulldog linebacker, Jonathan Buffin scooped up the loose ball and ran 80 yards for his second defensive score in two weeks, giving the ‘Horns a 28-14 lead.
The Panthers battled back, closing the score to 28-21 with 1:38 in the half, setting up the 2nd big Longhorn drive. A good return and an amazing catch by Quincy Adeboyejo put the ball on the Panther 2. With the clock running, the Hill offense kept their composure and scored on a 2 yard run with 4 seconds in the half.
The next big point came on the Longhorns first possession of the second half. Cedar Hill converted three times on 4th down on a 14 play drive that ended with a 28 yard touchdown pass to Adeboyejo.
Leading by eight, the ‘Horns hammered the final nail in the Panthers coffin in the 4th quarter. Taking the ball on their own 14, the Longhorns faced a 3rd and 1 when Larry Hill broke the line and went 49 yards for the final score with 1:37 remaining, final score: 49-34 Cedar Hill.
I have to give credit to Midway. They are a great team and would never go away, but made a few mistakes and this was fatal against a team playing such a clean game. At this level and by this round of playoffs, the remaining teams are so good that the margin of error is tiny. Midway played well, but several letdowns cost them in a game that Cedar Hill played almost perfectly.
The win sends Cedar Hill to Waco for a semifinal showdown against Austin Westlake. This is the 1st time the ‘Horns have gone beyond the quarterfinals since winning state in 2006. It’s been exciting to watch this team for the past 5 weeks and I look forward to Saturday in Waco. As I said last week, if this team keeps playing this well, they are very hard to stop.