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MUSTANGS MAKE HISTORY WINNING BACK TO BACK STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Jon Kay, Mustangs head coach passing the championship trophy to John Gentry. (Photo by Allan and Linda Jamail)

North Shore 31 – Duncanville 17

By Allan Jamail

Arlington, Texas — On Saturday, December 21, 2019 at the AT&T Stadium, in front of 47,818 spectators, the North Shore Mustangs — rated number one in the state — became the first team in University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A Division I history to win consecutive state championship games. In a rematch game with the Duncanville Panthers, who the Mustangs defeated in 2018, they once again won 31 to 17.

Since the beginning of the UIL Class 6A Division I in 2014, Coach Kay and the Mustangs made history by being the first to win three state championships.

North Shore won despite being without three of their starters. Zach Evans and Jermond Batiste were grounded because of not complying with the team’s cell phone policy. This made three games Evans has had to sit out due to disciplinary reasons. Shadrach Banks has been unable to play in several games due to an injury.

Regardless of the sport, coaches have the responsibility of teaching young athletes not just the rules of a game but to teach them how to play in the “game of life,” where no one is above the law or rules. Enforcement of team rules and disciplining infractions is hard on everyone — teammates, coaches, family members and fans — but it’s the right thing to do in order to build and mold students into good productive citizens. Sports is an excellent place to teach responsibility, teamwork and leadership, and it can only be accomplished when coaches make it a priority and not just the winning of a game.

Allan Jamail, North Channel Star writer, asked Coach Kay how this back to back win compared to his winning two other state championships. Kay said he couldn’t give a comparison between them.

He said, “I never thought about the possibility of back to back wins, and it was never a part of our preparation. We were concentrating on winning this one game and not getting caught up in what it would mean of winning back to back championships.”

In the first half of the game, both teams played equally as well as the other, with a halftime score of 17 – 17. But then the North Shore “Eastside Boys” defensive unit shifted gears by shutting out the Panthers, keeping them scoreless for the last two quarters.

The Mustangs defensive standouts were Jordan Polart, Joseph Wilson, Upton Stout, Caleb James, Corey Flagg, Aaron Brown, Jaden Rudolph, Marcus Cockrell, Alonzo Brown and Jermaine Caldwell.

In the second half, Duncanville was threatening a TD on the North Shore 3 yard line, but the defense, led by Senior linebacker Corey Flagg, the game’s Defensive Most Valuable Player, made a key stop on the Panthers star running back Trysten Smith, forcing a turnover on downs. Again in the fourth quarter, with the Mustangs leading 24 – 17, the Panthers could have tied the game with a TD, but the defense shut them down once more, forcing a punt.

When it looked like the Mustang offense was sitting on a one touchdown (TD) lead late in the game, quarterback Dematrius Davis connected on a 44 yard TD pass to Charles King with 2:33 left on the game clock. This forced the Panthers to have to pass, and North Shore knew it. The defense either sacked or made the quarterback throw the ball out of bounds, stopping any threat of a comeback.

Leading the offense was quarterback Dematrius Davis, passing for 91 yards with 2 TD’s and running for 122 yards and 1 TD. Running back Roger Hagan ran for 105 yards and 2 TD’s. Receivers Charles King, Syncere Green, Ismael Fuller and Zorhan Rideaux caught passes, with King’s fourth quarter TD pass icing the game.

John Villalobos, Mustang senior kicker, successfully made all 4 TD extra points and a 39 yard field goal.

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