Lake Highlands, Frisco Independence, Hebron, Mesquite Horn qualify
A handful of playoff spots were decided in the waning moments last night, including victories by Lake Highlands, Plano East and Frisco Centennial. Reporter Callie Caplan recaps the final Friday of the regular season.
On the final week of the regular season, some teams have clinched playoff berths. Others already know their seedings or classification divisions.
But for most, Week 11 represents final efforts to continue campaigns.
That’s what Lake Highlands faced against Richardson on Friday night.
The contest was essentially a winandin situation for the last District 86A spot, and Lake Highlands’ offense burst for 608 total yards, proving the difference in the Wildcats’ 6335 win.
Quarterback Jakson Thomson threw for 345 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 97 yards on eight carries. Khamondre Phillips powered the ground game with 18 rushes for 113 yards and two scores. Lake Highlands’ defense nabbed four turnovers, and the team will face Mansfield Lake Ridge in the first round of the Division II bracket.
That’s also what Frisco Independence and Frisco Centennial faced Friday night.
Because District 55A Div. I champion The Colony beat Little Elm, that meant the winner of Independence and Centennial would advance with Frisco Wakeland. And because Independence tallied 306 rushing yards to down Centennial, 3421, the Knights earned at least one more game this season.
To ensure Independence finished 64 for a second straight year — but didn’t miss the playoffs this time — unning back Logan Brungardt logged a teamhigh 111 yards on 14 carries in the first half, sitting out the second half because of concussionlike symptoms. Quarterback Braylon Braxton had three total touchdowns, and Independence’s defense forced two turnovers.
Independence will play twotime defending Class 5A state champion Highland Park in the first round.
“You get on an emotional high winning the game, but then you think, ‘Hey, we need some help,’” Independence coach Kyle Story said. “When we found out The Colony won and got us in, that was another high for us.”
District 66A has featured surprises — Flower Mound’s district championship and Lewisville’s playoff return — and parity throughout the season. But Hebron, powered by 284 rushing yards, left no doubt that it wanted 66A’s last playoff berth, beating Irving, 5213, Friday night.
Freshman running back Isaiah Broadway tuned up for his first postseason with 11 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Carson Harris added two scores on the ground and another passing.
“We’ve come through a tough district, lost a lot of tough games and beat some good people along the way, so we know what we can do,” Hebron coach Brian Brazil said of preparing for Keller Fossil Ridge in the first round. “Improving our potential is right there for us.”
Behind state No. 1 Allen and
Prosper, Plano East, Plano and Mckinney were all in play for the last two spots in District 96A.
Plano East received 385 total yards and six touchdowns from quarterback Brandon Mallory against Jesuit to seal a Div. I spot and firstround date with Sachse. Because Prosper beat Plano, 4335, and Mckinney downed Mckinney Boyd, 3424, Mckinney came back from a game down in the district standings to earn a Div. II spot, thanks to a headtohead tiebreaker over Plano.
“We’ve played some close games this year to help get us ready for this moment,” said Prosper coach Brandon Schmidt, his team entering its first Class 6A playoffs next week. “Hopefully we can take advantage of it.”
One of the most compelling storylines throughout the season has been the District 76A playoff race. The competition finished Friday night for the group dubbed “District of Doom.” Mansfield Lake Ridge came back to beat Mansfield Summit, 3524, to deny Summit a playoff berth in the schools’ first Class 6A seasons.
Because South Grand Prairie beat Waxahachie on Thursday, the Warriors are playoffbound in 76A’s Div. I bracket via a headtohead tiebreaker over Summit. South Grand Prairie will face stateranked Duncanville in the first round, while Desoto is the top Div. I seed and gets Skyline.
Other teams to clinch playoff spots in Week 11 included Mesquite Horn, which overcame an 07 start this season and beat Tyler Lee on Friday night, Colleyville Heritage with a victory over Denton, and Frisco, which forced five Lovejoy turnovers in a threepoint win.
Lake Highlands coach Lonnie Jordan and his team celebrate their playoffclinching win over Richardson. The Wildcats’ offense powered to 608 total yards and the defense grabbed four turnovers in the 6335 victory.