Written by Michael Florek
Lancaster defensive end Daeshon Hall: 'Fatigue played a good role in us losing' to Cedar Park in 4A-II final
ARLINGTON — At times, Lancaster’s defense looked worn down by Cedar Park’s power run game in the Class 4A Division II state championship Friday. At other times, it looked like it had done just enough.
Despite being gashed for 253 rushing yards in its 17-7 loss at Cowboys Stadium, Lancaster’s defense kept the game close in what was one of the team’s lowest-scoring contests of the season.
Cedar Park scored only 17 points, by far its lowest output of the season. But its one sustained drive — spanning 14 plays and 92 yards after Cedar Park was called for a penalty that put the ball at its 8-yard line — tied the score just before halftime.
“The defense has been our defense all year long,” Lancaster coach Chris Gilbert said. “I think I was disappointed in them giving up a [92-yard drive]. How many times do we do that?”
After the first few drives, Lancaster struggled to contain Cedar Park runs up the middle. Multiple times, Cedar Park threatened. But multiple times, the Lancaster defense did just enough to keep the team in the game.
Inside Lancaster territory, Cedar Park attempted a fourth-down conversion twice. It ended in failure both times. In the second quarter, Lancaster linebacker Ashton Bryant made a tackle in the backfield. In the third, with the score tied, 7-7, Cedar Park running back Ethan Fry was stopped a yard short on fourth-and-3.
The deciding points, a 22-yard field goal by Cedar Park’s Zach Hancock, came on a drive that Cedar Park started at Lancaster’s 6-yard line.
Late in the game, Cedar Park’s 57 rushing attempts finally took its toll on Lancaster.
“Fatigue played a good role in us losing,” Lancaster defensive end Daeshon Hall said.
With just over three minutes left, Cedar Park’s Mikal Wilson took off up the middle and cut toward the pylon in the left corner of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown run, putting Cedar Park up, 17-7, with 3:01 left in the game.
Hall finished with six tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss and was named the game’s defensive MVP.
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