Written by Michael Florek
2nd-half surge helps Rowlett extend playoff streak, beat Garland Lakeview, 40-32
GARLAND —At Garland’s Homer B. Johnson stadium on Friday night, the playoff picture was backward. Garland Lakeview Centennial was in line for its playoff appearance since 1995. Rowlett was in the locker room on the outside looking in for the first time in nine years.
Then the second half started and Rowlett scored three touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to turn a 13-point halftime deficit into a 40-32 win to keep the streak alive.
“Truthfully, [the streak] is very important,” said Rowlett coach Doug Stephens . “The seniors don’t want to be known as the group that didn’t make the playoffs. [It’s] my first year as head coach. I don’t want to the coach that didn’t make the playoffs.”
Rowlett (4-6, 3-3 in district 11-5A) is the Class 5A Division II runner up for district 11-5A. It will play Longview in the bi-district round next Saturday at 4 p.m. at Kincade Stadium.
Lakeview Centennial (3-6, 2-3) led 12-6 in the second quarter and extended it to 26-6 in the span of 29 seconds after stopping Rowlett on 4th-and-1, scoring a touchdown, recovering a pop-up kickoff that bounced between Rowlett players and then scoring again.
But Rowlett cut the lead to 26-13 at halftime, and got two key special teams plays, back-to-back punts to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Rowlett blocked Centennial’s first punt of the half and Jerek Capdeville fell on the ball. Lakeview Centennial’s next punt was also blocked. Rowlett scored four plays later to take it’s first — and only —lead of the game.
“Our special teams coordinator saw that,” Stephens said. “They punt two different blocks depending on how they lined up. We put it in yesterday.”