Mesquite Horn scores on 71-yard punt return and 77-yard kickoff return just over a minute in 35-7 win over Garland

GARLAND — The good news for Garland: It prevented Mesquite Horn’s receiving duo of Del’Michael High and Jarrison Stewart from scoring receiving touchdowns. The bad news: High and Stewart each scored touchdowns on returns to spark a 35-7 victory over Garland at Williams Stadium.

Ranked No. 10 in SportsDay’s 5A area poll, Horn (2-0) needed a 71-yard punt return with a minute left in the first half to tie the score at 7-7. Stewart returned the second half’s opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown, and short fields yielded a pair of touchdown runs by junior running back Justyn Oliphant.

After scoring on its first drive to take a 7-0 lead over Horn, Garland had eight punts and only one first down in the second half.

Horn picked up its third consecutive victory over Garland after winning last year in non-district 42-0 and in the first round of the playoffs, 56-35 at Allen. Horn’s defense, led by linebackers Darreon Jackson and Terian Braziel, held Garland scoreless on its last 11 drives.

“Our whole front seven picked it up,” Horn coach Mike Overton said. ‘We didn’t tackle well, didn’t play assignment football on that first drive. They stepped it up after that.”

The 6-2, 180-pound High caught two touchdown passes in last week’s win, but only had one catch for eight yards against Garland. Horn was stopped by three punts, on downs and a fumble before High caught a high punt on his own 29, swiveled out of a tackle and ran untouched up a seam near the hash marks.

Garland (0-2) had a half-dozen starters already on the sideline to start and had another half-dozen helped off the field, including standout two-way junior defensive tackle/tight end Donovan Ransom.

“Our kids fought, they played hard until we ran out of gas,” Garland coach Jeff Jordan said. “We’ll be fine once we get some reinforcements.”


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