Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Lake Highlands grabs playoff spot with win over Richardson
Johnson key in win over Richardson that earns fourth straight trip
RICHARDSON — With a playoff berth up for grabs, Lake Highlands relied on the running of Jacobi Johnson for a 21-14 win over Richardson at Eagle-Mustang Stadium.
Johnson rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 7:37 left.
Lake Highlands (5-5, 4-3) clinched the final playoff berth in District 9-5A. Richardson (5-5, 3-4) also would have made the playoffs with a win.
Lake Highlands will play Rowlett at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Homer B. Johnson Stadium.
Johnson scored on a five-yard carry midway through the fourth quarter to break a 14-14 tie. On the ensuing drive, Richardson was forced to punt from its own 40 with 5:52 left. Lake Highlands was able to run out the clock with a 12-play drive.
Lake Highlands led 14-7 at halftime and drove to the Richardson 15 yard line on the opening drive of the second half. However, the drive ended in a missed field goal and Richardson answered with an 80-yard scoring drive.
Richardson quarterback Parker Smith, who finished with 135 yards on 22 carries, scored from four yards out to tie the score at 14-14.
Richardson then recovered an onside kick at the Lake Highlands 38, but was forced to turn the ball over on downs in Lake Highlands territory for the third time. Richardson failed to convert fourth downs at the Lake Highlands 28, 30 and 29 and also missed a field goal.
Lake Highlands mounted its game-winning drive with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. The key play came on third-and-10 at the Richardson 30 when Michael Ketchmark tossed a short pass to Elbert Landry, who turned it into a 20-yard gain. A face mask penalty gave Lake Highlands first-and-goal at the five, setting up Johnson’s final touchdown.
Landry rushed for 72 yards on nine carries as Lake Highlands gained 290 of its 383 yards on the ground. Richardson totaled 316 yards with 229 of it rushing.
Lake Highlands is making its fourth straight playoff appearance under coach Scott Smith. Richardson will miss the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.