Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: DeSoto's improved defense corrals Cedar Hill, will be key for long run in playoffs
DESOTO — A seven-touchdown night is pretty spectacular for most teams. But for DeSoto, which has quarterback Desmon White, running back Dontre Wilson and a deep crew of receivers, that’s pretty typical.
What wasn’t so typical Friday night, as DeSoto rolled to a 48-35 victory over Cedar Hill, was how the Eagles’ defense made sure the three-hour football marathon was a one-team track meet.
DeSoto (4-0, 1-0 in District 7-5A) and Cedar Hill (1-3, 0-1) are both loaded with offensive firepower, but only DeSoto was up to speed at Eagle Stadium. White completed 20 of 32 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran for two scores. Wilson, who is orally committed to Oregon, ran for two scores and caught two touchdown passes as DeSoto rolled up nearly 500 yards of offense.
Cedar Hill finished with 312 yards, but it picked up a good chunk of that late. Two of Cedar Hill’s touchdowns came after DeSoto took a 48-21 lead into the fourth quarter, and two others scored on kickoff returns.
“When you think about it, our special teams gave up 14 points and our offense gave up seven points,” DeSoto coach Claude Mathis said, including an offensive turnover that led to a score. “That’s only seven points given up by our defense.”
Offense has rarely been a problem in recent years for DeSoto, which has won at least one playoff game the last six seasons. What has stopped the Eagles in the playoffs is their inability to get stops. In their last six playoff losses, they’ve been on the ugly end of some offensive showcases, allowing a whopping 49 points.
But DeSoto, which is No. 2 in the Class 5A area rankings, started this season by stuffing Arlington Martin, Oklahoma power Jenks and Euless Trinity. They stifled another high-powered opponent in No. 11 Cedar Hill, which features receivers LaQuvionte Gonzalez and Quincy Adeboyejo, who are both orally committed to Texas A&M, and quarterback Damion Hobbs, who is committed to Arkansas State.
Hobbs completed 13 of 22 passes for 134 yards. Gonzalez managed only 55 yards rushing and receiving combined, although he returned a kickoff for a touchdown, and Adeboyejo caught eight passes for 65 yards. Running back Larry Hill had 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The two kickoff returns in the first quarter kept Cedar Hill on DeSoto’s speedy heels. Cedar Hill also ate up more than five minutes of the second quarter with a 12-play, 87-yard touchdown drive.
The long drive gave Cedar Hill’s defense a much-needed break from the full-throttle DeSoto offense, which raced to five touchdowns before halftime. Three of the touchdown drives lasted a minute or less, and although the other two took longer, the pace was the same. DeSoto usually snapped the ball just a few seconds after the official marked the spot.
DeSoto’s offense might be the area’s best, and this season, it can count on the defense to get the ball back. It’s a potent combination.
“One thing about these guys, they don’t care about who gets the attention,” Mathis said. “They just want to get after the ball, whether it’s on offense or defense.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.