Written by Corbett Smith
Game-winning FG by Brooks Ralph puts Cedar Hill in 5A-II football state title game
WACO — Brooks Ralph had already missed two field goals in the 5A Division II semifinal and wasn’t sure he would be called on again.
In a tied game with the ball at Austin Westlake’s 25-yard line with eight seconds left, Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire called his final timeout to discuss his options.
“I thought they were going to bring the offense out,” Ralph said. “But after the timeout, they said, ‘Field goal!’
“I was extremely nervous. I was nervous out of my pants.”
Not to worry; with a state championship berth on the line, the sophomore kicker knocked through a season-long, 42-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, giving Cedar Hill a 31-28 win and sending the Longhorns to the state final for the first time since 2006.
Cedar Hill will face Katy (15-0) in the 5A Division II championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
Bobby Jackson — moving to offense from outside linebacker — rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns at running back for Cedar Hill (11-4), which needed big plays from its offense and kicker in the final minutes.
Westlake’s offense came alive in the second half, rallying from a 14-point deficit with back-to-back scoring drives. Alex Chavez’s 2-yard touchdown with 2:33 remaining tied the score at 28-28. It was set up by consecutive 23- and 47-yard completions by Westlake quarterback Jordan Severt.
Westlake, though, left plenty of time for Cedar Hill to answer.
Cedar Hill drove the ball 47 yards in the final minutes to set up Ralph’s kick. Senior wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo — a Texas A&M pledge — caught two crucial passes on the final drive.
“He was an animal on that last drive,” McGuire said.
One of Adeboyejo’s catches was a 21-yard jump ball from Damion Hobbs on third-and-11, moving the ball across midfield and keeping the drive alive.
“Before we came into that drive, I told him that if he needed anything, that I’d be there,” Adeboyejo said. “Just throw the ball, and I’ll go get ’em.”
Despite dominating the first half statistically — holding Westlake (10-5) to 108 yards and three first downs — Cedar Hill led by only a touchdown at halftime, 14-7.
Westlake’s only score was a one-play, 1-yard drive — set up by a mistake on a quick kick near the end of the first quarter.
Ralph missed two first-half field goal attempts of 47 and 39 yards, the final kick coming as time expired in the second quarter.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN.