STORY BY: BOB WRIGHT
– DESOTO – The state-ranked Desoto Eagles, champions of District 11-5A, stamped their ranking without doubt as one of Texas’ elite football teams Friday night at their Eagle Field by ushering the A&M Consolidated Tigers from the 2011 playoffs.
The Eagles did it in convincing fashion, a 54-10 walloping of the Tigers, who advanced to the Bi-District round as the third-place club in 12-5A.
DeSoto, who won the right to host the runaway event by virtue of winning the coaches’ coin flip. In that match, Coach Claude Mathis, who formerly coached at Somerville, won the flip over Coach David Raffield, whose club ended the season with a 5-6 record.
DeSoto, which now is 10-1, wasted little time in putting points on the scoreboard. The Eagles, which used an interception as a catalyst for a TD, starting a scoring avalanche on their first six possessions to race in front of the Tigers 27-0 in the first quarter, then stretching their lead to 40-0 by halftime. In the first half, DeSoto had rolled to 308 total offensive yards while the super-quick Eagle defense held Consol to 64. The Eagles didn’t miss the 500-yard total offensive mark by much for the entire game. The Tigers had some pretty good gainers in the final half to register an offensive output of something approaching 200 yards.
The Eagles more than doubled Consol in first downs – 26-12 and completed 18 of 30 passes. Conversely, Consol could complete but four of 16 aerials, and two of those were intercepted. The first one was turned in by Jalen Mills, who has committed to play for the LSU Tigers. The second pick couldn’t be blamed on Consolidated quarterback Jacob Bronowski, since the ball was tipped by the would-be receiver, who couldn’t hold on. That one came with eight seconds to go in the opening half. The Tigers also lost a fumble.
DeSoto, which has one of the fastest teams in the state, featuring overall speed from backs, as well as the defense, didn’t have to punt until well into the third period. That kick was a beauty, rolling to the lip of the Tiger goal line, about six inches away, putting Consol into a deep hole.
The quick-striking Eagles set up the first score with a 38-yard pass from quarterback Raheem Wilson to running back/receiver Devin Rushing, after starting the successful drive from their 48. Dontre Wilson had received to start the game, returning from the six to the 48. Devin Rushing scored from the two, zipping in to his right a minute and 48 seconds deep in the game. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving it 6-0.
Thirteen seconds later, Wilson hit Rushing on a 35-yard payoff pass after the Eagles recovered a fumble on the Tigers’ second possession. Bryson Echols booted the extra point, stretching the lead to 13-0.
At the 7:28 mark of the first period, the Eagles completed a 46-yard drive when Rushing scored from the five. Echols kicked the extra point, making it 20-0.
The Eagles, who scored on their first six of eight possessions, struck again, stretching the lead to 27-0 when Ricky Daniels scored from 18 yards out after hauling in a Raheem Wilson pass with 4:47 to go in the first quarter, and after Echols nailed the extra point.
In the second period, DeSoto scored again on Marcus Williams’ four-yard run. Echols kicked the extra point, lifting the Eagles to a 34-0 lead.
A pass to Ridge Jones stretched the lead to 40-0, the halftime score.
Marcus Williams ran in another score on a three-yard run, and Echols’ kick made it 47-0 in the third quarter.
Consolidated got on the scoreboard in the third period when defensive tackle J.J. Bynum, Texas Tech-bound, rammed in from the Eagle two. The big fellow got his moment of glory as a running back in the final game of his high school career. His score came with 21 seconds remaining in the third. Justin Zimmerman booted the extra point. The scoring run was set up on a 46-yard pass from Bronowski to receiver Justin Benden, and completed a 69-yard drive, the most impressive one of the night for Consol.
A 36-yard pass from Bronowski to Benden put the ball on the Eagle seven. With fourth-and-goal from the six, Jeff Steines booted a 23-yard field goal with 6:07 to go in the game. At the time, it was 47-10, but DeSoto scored one more time with 3:33 to go. It came on a Desmon White-to-Kyle Collins pass play. The kick made it 54-10.