MaxPreps names Mustangs #1 team in nation
By Allan Jamail
Arlington, TX. — AT&T (Cowboy) Stadium — On Saturday, December 22, 2018, the Galena Park ISD Mustangs spoiled the “home-field advantaged” Duncanville Panthers’ Christmas and New Years too.
At the start of the battle of the two Texas powerhouses, Texas Governor Greg Abbott came out from the Panthers sideline to toss the coin, wearing a Duncanville shirt. Abbott, a graduate from D’Ville, cheered from the sideline during the game for his Panthers. But even a Governor’s State of an Emergency couldn’t give his team the crown. The East Side Boys wouldn’t be intimidated and won 41 to 36.
Duncanville traveled only a few miles and five minutes to get to the game, while the Mustangs traveled 250 miles and 4 hours to play. Last week the undefeated 14 – 0 Panthers played on the same field beating Allen to reach the championship game.
On the game’s first play, it took only 10 seconds into the game for North Shore’s defensive lineman Jordan Revels to force a fumble on Duncanville. The alert Ashton Reynolds scooped up the ball trotted nine yards for a 7-0 lead.
After an undefeated 15 game winning streak season, and the state crown within reach, the visiting Mustangs found themselves in a never-before position. They found themselves trailing 35 to 36 in the fourth quarter with 63 seconds on the clock and 78 yards away from the Panthers’ goal.
Using the clock wisely, the offense moved the ball in 8 plays to the Panthers 35 yard line, leaving only 11 seconds remaining. After a failed pass attempt and a 10 yard penalty using 8 seconds, Coach Kay then used his last timeout with 3 seconds on the clock.
After 64 quarters of outstanding coaching this season, Kay had only one play he knew of that could give his team and their fans the title: THE HAIL MARY pass. After calling the play, Kay took off his headset to watch the season’s last play.
The Hail Mary pass is the most popular desperation pass play known in football. With his team dominating their opponents Coach Kay didn’t know if he’d ever need to use it, but he wisely had his team practice it every week.
It was no secret or trick play. Duncanville coaches and fifty plus thousand spectators standing cheering knew what the last play would be.
This wasn’t a luck play either; the play demanded a disciplined team who had fine tuned their skills to perfection to execute it as coached and practiced.
On the snap of the ball, quarterback (QB) Dematrius Davis knew he had to allow his receivers enough time to run the 45 yards to reach the end zone. His line held the Panthers’ pass rush, the clock read zero, Panther defenders flooded the end zone, and Mustangs AJ Carter and Shadrach Banks both raced to what’s known as “coffin’s corner,” where you either live or die on this play.
Carter and Banks saw the ball coming high overhead. They leaped up, and simultaneously two Panther defenders leaped up to prevent the completion. Eight sets of hands grabbed the ball. With feet in the air, Carter ripped the ball from the clutches of the Panthers and fell down inbounds for the winning score.
The Panthers pass defenders made a costly mistake; they tried to intercept the Hail Mary pass when instead all they had to do was bat the ball away, giving them the crown.
North Shore not only took home the state’s number one ranking, but MaxPreps also rewarded North Shore with the number one national ranking, becoming the third Texas school in five years to be crowned national champions.
With the dramatic win, North Shore adds a third state championship to its trophy case, to go along with titles from 2003 and 2015. Kay also coached the 2015 championship game.
Second guessing Duncanville’s coaching; they under estimated the “East Side Boys” by making their last score too early, leaving 63 seconds on the clock.
The game changed leads 8 times, keeping the fans standing continuously; it wasn’t a game for the faint of heart. Thrilling, exciting, breath-taking, nerve racking, exhausting, best describes it.
Game ending stats:
First downs — NS 20, DV 18.
Rushing yards — NS 176, DV 445.
Passing yards — NS 333 yds, DV 43 yds.
Total offensive yards – plays — NS 61 – 509 yds, DV 63 – 488 yds
Penalties — NS 10 – 107 yds, DV 2 – 15 yds
Possession time — NS 20:16 ~ DV 27:44.