Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Prestonwood stops Nolan's 2-point try with 14 seconds left to preserve 36-34 win and claim TAPPS 1-I crown
FORT WORTH — With 14 seconds remaining and a two-point conversion on the way, a district championship hung in the balance between Prestonwood Christian and Fort Worth Nolan on Friday night.
If Nolan converted the attempt, it would mean overtime at Doskocil Stadium. If it didn’t, Prestonwood would hang on for the win.
Nolan quarterback Landon Russell rolled to his right and threw a dart into a crowd only to have the pass batted down, capping a wild finish as Prestonwood secured a 36-34 victory.
“I don’t know who knocked it down, but that was big,” Prestonwood coach Chris Cunningham said. “That was just the story of the night. At different times, different people stepped up.”
With one game left on its district schedule, Prestonwood (8-1, 5-0) sealed its first-place finish in TAPPS 1-I. Big performances from quarterback Ryan Cash (15-23, 216 yards, four touchdowns) and wide receiver Jonathan Heasley (nine catches, 110 yards and three touchdowns) provided the firepower.
But three turnovers — an interception and fumble recovery from defensive back Drew Wicker and another interception by defensive lineman Patrick Murray — proved to be the difference. Two of those takeways led to touchdowns.
“The turnovers were huge,” Cunningham said. “We needed our defense to be able to get them and our offense to take advantage. I’m just so proud of the team effort.”
With the score tied at 14 at halftime, Nolan (5-3, 3-1) charged out to a quick lead in the third quarter. Quarterback Jacob Walden, who carried 12 times for 124 yards and three touchdowns, ran for a 31-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-6 play.
That began the back-and-forth half. Luke Wendl’s 35-yard field goal gave Prestonwood an eight-point advantage with three minutes left. Nolan answered with an 11-play, 54-yard touchdown drive behind Russell, leading to the failed two-point conversion.
As Prestonwood players celebrated with their fans, Cunningham made one thing clear: The season doesn’t end here.
“We didn’t start this year shooting for a district championship,” Cunningham said. “We started this year shooting for a state championship.”
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