Unbelievable: Hawks mount huge rally, gain region final in 2OT
WICHITA FALLS — With 9:27 to play in the third quarter of Saturday’s playoff game, things were looking grim for the Red Oak Hawks against Class 5A Division I No. 6-ranked Lubbock Coronado.
But the type of comeback the Hawks mounted had multiple authors.
Red Oak scored four consecutive touchdowns to take the lead before Coronado forced overtime. Then in the second overtime period, Red Oak senior defensive lineman John Mathis blocked an extra-point kick which would have forced a third overtime, and the Hawks came away with an incredible 42-41 victory at Joe Golding Field at Memorial Stadium in the Region II semifinals.
In their first year as a member of 5A Division I and their first season under Michael Quintero as head coach, the Hawks (9-2) advanced to the fourth round of the playoffs for the first time and earned a rematch against District 4-5A (I) rival Mansfield Summit, a team the Hawks pounded on Nov. 20 in their regular-season meeting, 37-16. Summit (7-4) stunned Colleyville Heritage on Saturday, 34-31. The Hawks and Jaguars will square off at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Day at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
After a scoreless first overtime, Red Oak's Zach Sanders scored on a 19-yard run to give the Hawks a 42-35 lead in the second OT. Moments later, Antonio Malone scored for Coronado to pull within one, but Red Oak's Mathis got his hand on the PAT attempt and swatted it out of the air to send the Hawks to the regional final.
The Hawks finished with 464 total yards. Senior Joshua Ervin was only 12-of-23 and was intercepted three times, but finished with 193 yards and two touchdowns, both to Triston Edwards. Sophomore backup Chris Parson, though, proved an effective change of pace with two rushing touchdowns and a scoring pass to Raymond Gay Jr.
Sophomore Iverson Young finished with 90 rushing yards, Sanders finished with 70, and Parson wound up with 66 on the ground.
Red Oak started its rally in the third quarter on Edwards’ 44-yard reception from Ervin. Next, Parson scored a pair of rushing touchdowns — first from three, then from eight yards to tie the game at 28-28.
Two plays later, Arizona signee Jackson Bailey intercepted a Coronado pass setting up another Ervin-to-Edwards touchdown pass from 13 yards, giving Red Oak its first lead of the game at 35-28.
Coronado (12-1) rebounded with a two-play, 62-yard drive to tie the game in regulation when Mississippi State signee Sawyer Robertson hit Ke'Vondrick Carr with a 38-yard touchdown pass with under four minutes to play in regulation.
Robertson finished 22 of 41 for 254 yards and four touchdowns for Coronado.
SMU signee Izaiah Kelley set the tone early for Coronado. Following a third-down sack to end Red Oak's first drive, Kelley ended Red Oak's second possession when he returned an interception six yards for a touchdown, giving Coronado a 7-0 lead. Robertson connected with Will Boyles from six yards to open a 14-0 lead.
Known for its quick-strike offense, Coronado adapted to the windy conditions while assembling first half scoring drives of 10 and 12 plays to build a 21-7 halftime lead.
Coronado averaged 53.5 points per game heading into this contest, including 82 and 77 in their first two playoff games, but Red Oak held them to 14 second-half points before giving up the touchdown in the second overtime.