December 13, 2014
This 3A-Division II state semifinal in Glen Rose had all the makings of a classic from the start as an overflow crowd jammed into Tiger Stadium to see if Sonora’s size and brute strength could contain the dynamic speed of Waskom.
It appeared the game could be a rout early on as Sonora took the opening kick and marched down the field to take a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard run from Andres Acevedo, capping a six play, 76-yard drive. Sonora added to its lead early in the second quarter on a 10-yard run from Brett Castillo to put the Broncos up 14-0.
Waskom found some life after that when Junebug Johnson’s big kickoff return set the Wildcats up with good field position and Kevin Johnson scored from 33-yards out to cut the deficit to 14-6.
Sonora answered with a time consuming, five-minute drive right before halftime that was capped with a second touchdown from Acevedo from five yards out making it 21-6.
Waskom pulled out all the stops in the second half, though, when, in the third quarter, the Wildcats faked a punt on a 4th-and-4 from their own 43 with Junebug Johnson hitting quarterback Trace Carter for 21 yards to the Broncos' 36-yard line. A little later on 4th and 15, Waskom ran a reverse pass with Kevin Johnson, who found Eric Stephens, III open for a 34-yard gain to the Sonora 7-yard line. Johnson scored on the next play to cut the SHS lead to 21-13.
Waskom stopped Sonora on downs on the next series and turned that stop into a touchdown with a one-yard run from Carter to make it 21-19 with just over two minutes left in the third.
Neither offense could get much going for most of the fourth and with 4:08 left in the game Waskom would take over on their own 2-yard line needing 98-yards to win the game as the kicking game probably wouldn’t get it done.
Dillon Benton did most of the damage for Waskom with a scintillating 71-yard touchdown run, breaking multiple tackles and showing off a spin move to put Waskom up 25-21 with just over two minutes left.
Run-oriented Sonora, which had struggled on offense the entire second half, inserted throwing QB Hunter Hughes into the game and the Broncos immediately found answers as Hughes hit Castillo for 22-yards to near midfield. Hughes then found Gabe Rollert for 23 yards down to the Waskom 25-yard line. After three straight incomplete passes Hughes and Rollert hooked up for 13-yards down to the Waskom 12 with time running out.
Sonora moved to the Waskom 3-yard line with 14 seconds left and no timeouts remaining. On first and goal, Hughes rolled out and looked for a receiver but was stuffed at the 2 instead of throwing it away. Sonora was unable to scramble and spike the ball and the clock ran out to send Waskom to its first state title game in school history.
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