Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Skyline downs Plano in 5A bidistrict playoffs, ditches bad memories of 2011 state semis at SMU
UNIVERSITY PARK — Skyline’s game Friday night at SMU’s Ford Stadium ended in a 35-14 victory over Plano in a Class 5A Division I bi-district matchup.
That’s a lot better than Skyline’s last game last season, a heartbreaking loss in the state semifinals to eventual champion Southlake Carroll at Ford Stadium.
“That’s exactly why I wanted to play here,” Skyline coach Reginald Samples said. “I wanted last year over with. This is a great place to play. I wanted to come right back and win.”
Skyline (10-1) will play the winner of Saturday’s Mesquite Horn-Garland game next Saturday afternoon at Lake Highlands’ Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
Skyline held off a third-quarter rally by Plano (5-6), which almost recovered from a 14-0 halftime deficit. Skyline senior Andrew Coleman stopped Plano’s momentum with an 86-yard kickoff return. Each team had 16 first downs and Skyline had only 47 yards more total offense.
“I know it sounds crazy, but I felt pretty good being down 14-0 at half,” Plano coach Jaydon McCullough said. “We made some halftime adjustments. Moved the ball and didn’t get the points. But we could have been 14-14. We just couldn’t get in sync. You have to give Skyline a lot of credit. They’re a top 10 team in the state. I hurt for our seniors. That group has done a lot for our program.”
Just when Plano pulled within 14-7 with three minutes left in the third quarter, Skyline’s Coleman returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a 21-7 lead. Coleman scored his first touchdown by breaking through a middle seam and then making two deft cutbacks to avoid tacklers.
“He’s had some long runs but hasn’t scored — 60, 70 yards,” Samples said. “We’ve got some great blocking up front. We work on returning kicks a lot.”
Skyline had taken a 14-0 halftime lead before Plano was sparked by a 33-yard catch by senior receiver Anthony Antwine to set up running back Andre Morman’s 4-yard scoring run to pull within seven. Using a conservative defense to prevent Skyline from hitting big plays, Plano gave itself a chance with the first possession of the second half, moving inside Skyline’s 10-yard line. But a holding penalty negated a touchdown run and Plano missed a 38-yard field goal attempt.
After Coleman’s kickoff return, Skyline took a 28-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter as senior receiver and Oklahoma State commit Ra’Shaad Samples turned a 10-yard catch into a 22-yard touchdown by eluding two tacklers.
Skyline scored on its first possession of the game as senior quarterback Devante Kincade connected with Carlos Strickland on a 7-yard touchdown pass. Skyline led by 14 after receiver Lamont Levels’ man-in-motion reverse for a 3-yard touchdown run.
Plano scored its final touchdown on a 22-yard catch by Devon Richardson from Connecticut commit Richard Lagow.