ARLINGTON – South Oak Cliff was down early.
Like Cole Crippen connecting with Landon Guarnere for a 53-yard Port Neches-Groves touchdown one minute into the game early.
But SOC settled down, found its grove and made several key defensive plays to shift momentum in a 34-24 victory over the Indians for the Golden Bears' second straight 5A Division II UIL State Championship.
PNG looked like it had it rolling in the first half. Crippen was distributing the ball well, Isaiah Nguyen broke off some big runs, and the defense limited SOC to only a field goal. But when SOC’s Billy Walton and Brandon Jones got the defense going coming up the middle and combining for a safety.
That would help kickstart the offense with William Little throwing a touchdown pass to Trey Jackson, who would use his height to moss a defender. Then the SOC defense exerted their pressure to force another PNG safety in the third quarter. Little rushed for a touchdown himself and defensive MVP Manny Muhammad would put this game to bed with a pick six.
Offensive MVP Little threw some pinpoint passes down the field finishing with 235 yards and a touchdown as Jamyri Cauley, Rickey Evans, and Joshua Manley would all finish above 50 yards receiving. Danny Green grinded it out on the ground with his 68 yards on 15 attempts. Jones led the way with his two sacks and seven tackles.
Nguyen rumbled his way to 154 yards on the ground to move PNG down the field.
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