Written by Corbett Smith
Goal-line interception with 7 seconds left seals Skyline's 38-33 win over Spring Westfield
GEORGETOWN — As Skyline’s band played its fight song, the look on Skyline coach Reginald Samples’ face wasn’t that of exultation. It was that of relief.
Skyline’s Derrick Dixon grabbed his second interception — stopping a potential game-winning drive by Spring Westfield on the goal line with seven seconds remaining — to clinch a 38-33 win in the 5A Division I regional round Saturday at Georgetown ISD Stadium.
Skyline will face Allen or Round Rock Westwood next week in the Region II final.
“He’s been doing it every week,” Samples said. “He’s a big-time player.”
Dixon’s first interception — on Westfield’s first drive of the second half — allowed Skyline to quickly rally from a nine-point halftime deficit. Ellis Onic broke a swing pass from Devante Kincade for a 43-yard touchdown, giving Skyline a 17-16 lead.
On the next offensive play for Westfield, Dixon stripped running back Emmitt Raleigh and returned the fumble 28 yards for a touchdown.
“He was trying to cut back in, and I was already inside,” Dixon said. “What came to my mind was get the ball out.”
But it was Dixon’s final play that prevented a last-minute collapse, a la last year’s semifinal loss to Southlake Carroll.
A blisteringly fast 71-yard touchdown by Onic gave Skyline (12-1) an 11-point lead over Spring Westfield (12-1) with 3:26 remaining in the game. A quick score by Westfield, and a failed fourth-down conversion from Skyline on Westfield’s 36-yard line with 38 seconds left, gave Westfield the slimmest of hopes.
With Skyline dropping eight men in coverage, Westfield reserve quarterback William Dedon completed 29- and 28-yard passes before Samples called a timeout.
“They got rattled,” Samples said. “It goes back to some of those other games. When people are going to score on us, we get rattled. I just told them to settle down.”
With Skyline’s defense properly aligned, Dixon fought inside for Dedon’s underthrown pass, sealing the win.
“Coach Samples has been really big on will this year,” Onic said. “He’s always talking about it. And today, we just had more will power.”
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