Written by Jon Machota
DeSoto stunned, heartbroken after bizarre punt helps cap late Allen comeback
MESQUITE — There wasn’t much DeSoto could’ve done. A linebacker was running near midfield with 1:15 remaining when a 10-yard punt bounced off the Memorial Stadium turf and hit him in the leg.
Allen recovered at its own 40 and scored six plays later, rallying from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat DeSoto, 42-35, in a 5A Division I semifinal Saturday.
DeSoto had quarterback Desmon White back to receive the punt near the team’s 30, trying to utilize its top playmaker with the score tied. But the wind prevented White from ever being a factor.
“We should’ve won the game,” DeSoto coach Claude Mathis said. “We had plenty of opportunities to win that game. It just didn’t happen.”
DeSoto (14-1) did something that no other team has been able to do against Allen (15-0) this season: lead at halftime. White, who ran for four touchdowns and a game-high 189 yards, rushed for two second-quarter scores and passed for another TD three seconds before halftime, giving DeSoto a 22-17 advantage.
White scored on an 18-yard run late in the third quarter, and DeSoto headed to the fourth ahead 29-20. That lead ballooned to 35-20 when White scored his final rushing touchdown, this one from 5 yards out with 8:35 left.
But just as Allen appeared to be on the ropes, junior quarterback Kyler Murray found Jalen Guyton for a 68-yard touchdown on the next play from scrimmage.
“I was thinking post,” Mathis said. “I knew they were going to throw the post. I still don’t know what happened. I don’t.”
DeSoto then went three and out, and Allen again answered quickly, scoring two plays into the ensuing possession. Murray converted on the two-point conversion with an impressive throw across his body to Guyton, tying the score, 35-35, with 5:58 to play.
DeSoto’s final possession lasted 10 plays but managed to go only 11 yards because of three penalties.
Tears falling down his face, Mathis called it “the worst loss I’ve ever had.”
Immediately after being interviewed, Mathis turned into a friend’s arms and began sobbing.
“I don’t get it,” Mathis said. “I don’t get what happened just now. I’m stunned. Too many costly turnovers. Too many penalties. It was two heavyweights battling. It happened to be us. We lost.”