Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Mesquite Horn scores TDs on 7-straight possessions, pulls away from Garland in bidistrict playoffs
ALLEN — As his Mesquite Horn team tried to pull away from Garland on Saturday, coach Rodney Webb was thinking about a horror movie.
“Friday the 13th was running through my head,” he said. “They would have to kill Jason like five times before the movie was over.”
The famous movie villain just kept coming back, and at Eagle Stadium, Garland did the same in a Class 5A Division I bi-district matchup. But Horn’s offense was a near-perfect hero in a 56-35 victory over Garland.
Led by junior quarterback Destri White, Horn piled up 543 yards and scored touchdowns on seven straight possessions to keep Garland at arm’s length and advance to a matchup with Skyline. Horn (8-3) and Skyline (10-1) will play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
White completed 11 of 14 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 13 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He hasn’t thrown an interception in his last five games.
“He’s in command of the offense,” Webb said. “To have a guy like that allows us to do so much. He played flawlessly.”
Horn’s defense wasn’t without flaws, but Garland (6-5) also showed how far it has come on offense. Garland managed only 107 total yards in its 42-0 loss to Horn in September, which came during the Owls’ 0-4 start. Garland rallied with six straight wins to earn the District 11-5A title and enter the playoffs with momentum.
Garland never led, and it trailed 28-14 midway through the second quarter. But senior quarterback V.J. Gates, who threw for 284 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 84 yards, helped the Owls trim the lead to 28-21 at halftime.
Horn’s seventh straight touchdown drive, capped by White’s 20-yard pass to Del’Michael High, gave the Jaguars a 49-28 lead late in the third quarter. Garland charged back once again as Gates connected with Ja’Taveon Green for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 6:06 left.
That could’ve started another horror show for Horn, which last year had a 21-point lead in the second half of a playoff matchup with Copperas Cove. Horn lost that game, but on Saturday, its offense made sure the ending wasn’t frightening.
After recovering an onside kick, Horn drove 52 yards for a touchdown. Just as important, the Jaguars rolled more than four minutes off the clock to put the game away. It was the rare drive in which White didn’t attempt a pass.
There were more run-heavy drives in years past, but White is now an experienced quarterback who can do damage running or throwing. He completed six passes of 20 yards or more Saturday, including a beautiful rainbow that fell into the hands of Brian O’Bannon, who caught it in stride and ran into the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown.
“I’m trying to get people to respect my passing,” said White, who has thrown 25 touchdown passes to just three interceptions this season. “They all think I’m just a running quarterback.”
He was the winning quarterback Saturday, and that’s all that really matters.
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.