Written by Corbett Smith
Southlake Carroll QB Kenny Hill leads unlikely comeback against Skyline
Controversial onside kick helps Dragons erase late 10-point deficit
UNIVERSITY PARK — After what will surely go down in playoff history as a classic, a group of irate Skyline fans congregated near the Ford Stadium railing, shouting into the night as Southlake Carroll’s band played on.
Largely drowned out by Carroll’s fight song, the fans cried out that a crucial onside kick in the final moments of Southlake Carroll’s 28-24 comeback in the Class 5A Division I semifinal didn’t go the required 10 yards.
Whether it did will be a talking point for the ages.
The officials ruled that Ty Cummings’ high-arcing kick was fielded by Carroll receiver Ray Crockett as it reached the 50-yard line. With only one timeout, a three-point deficit and 1:07 remaining, an onside recovery was Carroll’s only hope.
“It looked like it wasn’t at 10 first,” Crockett said. “But then I saw the other guy going to get it. So I knew I just had to take a chance. If it wasn’t 10, we’d just have to play defense. But if it was, then we win the game.”
Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill wasted little time proving Crockett’s prediction, scoring three plays later on a tackle-breaking 35-yard run.
It was Hill’s second touchdown in 21 seconds.
“We were just trying to get it as close as we can,” Hill said. “That touchdown was huge.”
Skyline (14-1) took a 24-14 lead with 2:26 remaining on a 34-yard field goal by Juan Ramos. The kick capped a 6-minute, 32-second drive that started on Skyline’s 1-yard line.
At that point, the game looked firmly in hand; Carroll (15-0) hadn’t scored on a drive on which they had to cross midfield.
Yet, Carroll answered with an 11-play scoring drive that lasted just over a minute, capped by a three-yard touchdown run by Hill.
Skyline coach Reginald Samples declined to comment on whether he thought the ball went 10 yards. Instead, he credited Carroll’s execution in the final minutes.
“They did what they were supposed to do,” Samples said.
Carroll will face Fort Bend Hightower (13-2) in the 5A Division I championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.