Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Football: Broncos rally past Little Elm
LITTLE ELM - Denton proved to be its own worst enemy for most of the game on Friday night. But when they needed a big play, the Broncos found one.
Trailing 15-0 with just 2:56 to play in the game, Denton left Little Elm's homecoming crowd in shock by rallying to grab a 16-15 District 4-4A victory.
The Broncos' Dentton Hudspeth scrambled from one side of the field to the other before finding Matthew Perry downfield for a 62-yard scoring strike with 32 seconds left in the game to get Denton within one at 15-14.
"These kids are just so poised. Nothing seems to rattle them," Denton coach Randy Patzkowski said. "I was yelling at Dentton to just throw the ball away and throw it out of bounds, but if you know Dentton - he's never going to quit. He's always trying to create a play."
The Broncos went for the two-point conversion, and Hudspeth found a wide-open Ruperto Guttierez in the back of the end zone for the game winner.
"Our kids never quit," Patzkowski said. "The book might say go for one, but we work on our two-point plays every day in practice. I told the kids when we went for the two points on the first score, we were going to go for it on the second as well."
The victory snapped a 24-game district losing streak for Denton (3-3, 1-1), giving the Broncos their most wins in four seasons. The win also left Denton in the thick of the playoff race as it looks to reach the postseason for the first time since 2000.
The Lobos opened the fourth quarter with a touchdown to lead 9-0 and added a 4-yard run by Matt Marrs to make it 15-0 with 2:56 left to play. The two-point conversions on both scores were foiled by the Broncos.
A personal foul call on a third-and-10 play gave Denton the ball at the Little Elm 41-yard line. A 15-yard pass to Leaon Atkinson, his only catch of the game, moved the ball to the 26. Perry, who finished the night with six catches for 146 yards, then hauled in an 8-yard pass. Denzell King ran it 15 yards down to the 3, where Hudspeth finished it off.
Hudspeth finished the night completing 12 of 21 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
Patzkowski elected to go for two points, and King found Hudspeth to make it 15-8. The onside kick failed, but the defense, as it did all night, limited Little Elm. The Lobos went three and out, setting up the game-winning drive.
"I thought our defense played great tonight," Patzkowski said. "They made some big plays when we needed them to. To hold them to three points and give ourselves a chance speaks a lot about them."
While the defense was playing well, the offense shot itself in the foot all night until the end. In the first half, Denton made it to the Little Elm 11- and 17-yard lines but came away empty-handed. It also reached the 16 and 25 with no points to show for those efforts.
"We found a way to win, as poorly as we played," Patzkowski said. "We can't afford to get down in the red zone three or four times and not put points on the board. But when they had to make a play, they did so, and I couldn't be any prouder."
The only points of the first half came thanks to Little Elm quarterback Devante' Pullum, who led Little Elm down the field. He avoided three tacklers on a third-and-7 play from his own 27 for a 15-yard gain. He then carried for 12 yards, and on a third-and-4 play scampered for 23 yards.
Denton's defense stiffened after the Lobos set up shop first-and-goal at the 7. Two plays netted 1 yard, and a 3-yard pass set up a 25-yard field goal by Jared Martin.
Denton 16, Little Elm 15
Denton 0 0 0 16 - 16
Little Elm 0 3 0 12 - 15
LE - Jared Martin 25 FG
LE - Devanate Pullum 13 run (run failed)
LE - Matt Marrs 4 run (pass failed)
D - Dentton Hudspeth 3 run (Dentton Hudspeth pass from Denzell King)
D - Matthew Perry 62 pass from Hudspeth (Ruperto Gutierrez pass from Hudspeth)
First Downs 15 17
Rushing 29-66 48-223
Passing yards 190 68
Passing 12-21-1 6-8-1
Punts-avg. 4-26.75 2-36.5
Penalties 6-50 12-85
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-2
Rushing - D: Denzell King 12-41, Carlos Fleury 1-16, Manny Mendoza 1-6, Matthew Perry 1-3, Dentton Hudspeth 13-0, Charles Johnson 1-0, LE: Devonte Pullum 16-117, Matt Marrs 29-103, Xavier Sanders 1-4, Xavier Williams 1-1, Brandon Dudley 1--2.
Passing - D: Dentton Hudspeth 12-21-1-190, LE: Devonte Pullum 6-8-1-68.
Receiving - DENT: Matthew Perry 6-146, Manny Mendoza 2-16, Leon Atkinson 1-15, Marcos Morales 1-7, Denzell King 1-6, Ruperto Gutierrez 1-0, LE: Xavier Sanders 2-30, Matt Marrs 2-18, Darryl Demesme 1-15, Jordan Alvidrez 1-5.