Stepp's 2022 Top 10 Games: No. 1

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Duncanville 28, Galena Park North Shore 21

Class 6A Division I State Championship

AT&T Stadium, Arlington

December 17, 2022


The two biggest and baddest teams in Texas High School Football met up for the fourth time in the past five years and after three straight North Shore wins in the series, a crowd of 40,056 witnessed Duncanville winning their second state title and first for head coach Reginald Samples in an absolute heavyweight brawl.

Both offenses started out a bit slow as North Shore on their first drive would throw an interception, but the Mustangs defense rallied after the turnover forcing a Duncanville three and out and a punt. North Shore after getting one first down on their next series would punt and this time Duncanville would get the offense going as after a 43-yard pass from QB Keelon Russell to WR Dakorian Moore, the Panthers would take a 7-0 lead as Caden Durham would score from two-yards out to put Duncanville up 7-0 with 1:43 left in the first quarter.

After North Shore would punt on the final play of the first quarter, Duncanville would start the second quarter backed up on their own twelve-yard line and the Panthers would need just one play to take a 14-0 lead as QB Russell would score on an impressive 88-yard touchdown run and Duncanville appeared to be on their way to a runaway victory. North Shore would show their championship mettle, quickly answering to get back in the game as QB David Amador connected with Cameron Smith for a 43-yard touchdown pass to cut the Duncanville lead in half to 14-7. After forcing a Duncanville three and out, North Shore would march eleven plays and 75-yards to tie the game up at 14-14 as Amador would score on a 30-yard touchdown run.

The back and forth would continue on the next drive as Duncanville would jump back into the lead at 21-14 as the Panthers would go 56-yards in six plays as Durham would score on three-yard touchdown run. The key play on the drive was a Russell 31-yard pass to Dayvian Bluitt. North Shore would have an answer on their drive scoring with under a minute left in the first half as Amador would score on a six-yard run to tie the game at 21-21 heading into the locker room.

After the shootout in the second quarter, the second half turned into an absolute defensive war with first downs being at a premium as both teams struggled to move the ball consistently. Duncanville late in the third quarter would finally get a first down on a Caden Durham 33-yard run, three plays later on 4th and 1 from the nine, Durham would get his third touchdown of the afternoon putting Duncanville up 28-21 with 3:41 left in the third quarter.

North Shore’s offense would continue to struggle, but the Mustangs defense kept them in the game, preventing Duncanville from putting the game away. North Shore, who had just one first down in the second half would take over on their own twenty-yard line with 2:17 left in the game. QB Amador almost single-handedly willed his team down the field in a last-ditch drive to the tie the game. Amador when he wasn’t running the ball was drawing facemask penalties on Duncanville and with less than a minute left in the game, the Mustangs had a 4th and 4 from the Duncanville fifteen-yard line. North Shore decided to keep the ball in Amador’s hands and he was tackled about a yard short of the marker turning the ball over on downs. Duncanville would have a pair of nervy kneel-downs near their own end zone and the Panthers would secure legendary head coach Reginald Samples his first state title with an absolute classic 28-21 win.  

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