Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Plano East second-half defense the difference in 28-20 win over Garland
GARLAND — Plano East’s 28-20 victory over Garland wasn’t always pretty, but it was an important first step for new coach Randy Jackson.
Plano East got big plays out of a pair of quarterbacks and used some shut-down second-half defense to secure Jackson’s first victory Friday at Williams Stadium.
“We’ve had 20 days of practice,” Jackson said. “It was ugly, but I’m proud of them.”
Plano East didn’t give up a point in the second half and limited Garland quarterback Luther Kirk to minus-4 yards rushing. Kirk had run all over Plano East in the first half, rushing for 152 yards and three touchdowns.
Garland rushed for only 23 yards in the second half and never entered the red zone.
“We had kids going to the ball and would break their responsibility on defense,” Jackson said of the first half. “I think we just played better assignment football [in the second half].”
Plano East quarterbacks Keith Long and Miles Thompson played two series each in the first half.
Long started the game with a 19-play, 80-yard drive capped by Lionel Wills’ 2-yard touchdown. Thompson took over the next series and led a seven-play, 50-yard scoring drive that ended with Malik Simmons’ 15-yard touchdown catch.
The quarterback duo put Plano East up 14-0 early, but that comfortable lead didn’t last long.
Kirk tallied all three of Garland’s scores in the second quarter, racking up touchdown runs of 28, 61 and 18 yards. Kirk started in place of senior Carvontez Gates, who was injured during Garland’s scrimmage last week.
Garland trailed 21-20 at halftime — a missed extra point being the only thing separating the two teams.
“We got down 14-0 just like that and fought back,” Garland coach Jeff Jordan said. “If we keep working and fighting like that, we’ll be fine.”
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN.
Get the latest Dallas sports news at SportsDayDFW.com