The SPC will have some hometown representation in next week’s SPC football championship games.
ESD ensured that by qualifying for the small-school title game on Saturday with a 17-7 win over Tulsa Holland Hall at Jones Family Stadium. The Eagles will meet Oklahoma City Casady for the crown at 5 p.m. Saturday at Jesuit.
It wasn’t a conventional victory for ESD’s typically potent offense, which had its second lowest-scoring game of the season built just a 7-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Instead, it was the defense that shined for the Eagles (8-2).
Nakeie Montgomery rushed for 124 yards to lead ESD, including a key touchdown early in the fourth quarter that stretched the lead to 14-0.
After the Dutch (3-7) drove down the field and scored on a short touchdown run by Corey Taylor, the Eagles again answered with a 26-yard field goal by Jeffrey Taber that provided the final margin.
ESD threw three interceptions but managed a handful of big plays on the passing game, including a 41-yard touchdown from Thomas Fitts to Winston Guillory in the second quarter. Guillory finished with eight catches for 160 yards, while Jason Goolsby tallied nine receptions for 105 yards.
Fitts and Guillory need just five yards next week to surpass the 3,000-yard passing and 1,500-yard receiving thresholds for the season, respectively.
Also in the SPC on Saturday, a fourth-quarter rally by the St. Mark’s fell short in a 37-30 loss to Bellair Episcpal in a large-school semifinal. Walter Johnson rushed for two touchdowns and threw a scoring pass to William Caldwell for the Lions (6-4), while Justin Jones had 157 rushing yards and a touchdown. Preston Heard accounted for four touchdowns for the Knights (8-2), who advance to meet Houston Kinkaid next week in the title game.
In other area games this week:
Hillcrest 40, Carrollton Newman Smith 16
Arico Evans tossed three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as the Panthers (8-1, 5-1) knocked off a playoff contender for the second straight week and surged into a tie for second place in District 11-5A. The highlight was an 81-yard completion to Brandon Stanton. It was the first loss in district play for the Trojans (6-3, 5-1), although both teams have clinched playoff spots.
Irving MacArthur 69, Jesuit 30
The Rangers (6-3, 4-2) had trouble stopping another high-powered offense and dropped into third place in 9-6A, but their playoff future is not in jeopardy. Bo Schneider threw four touchdown passes for Jesuit, including two to Garrett Amy. However, Artiss Williamson tallied five rushing touchdowns for the Cardinals (6-3, 5-1), and Kane Hodges passed for 354 yards and four scores.
Irving Nimitz 32, W.T. White 14
The Longhorns (4-5, 2-4) were eliminated from playoff contention despite getting more than 100 rushing yards and a touchdown apiece from Jackson Fults and Danny Joof. Meanwhile, the Vikings (5-4, 4-2) qualified for postseason play behind three touchdown passes from Jimmy Clark and a pair of rushing scores by Mark Eugene. Nimitz held White to just 48 passing yards.
Parish Episcopal 69, Grapevine Faith 42
Dominic Williams rushed for 339 yards and five touchdowns, and also returned an interception for a score, as the dominant Panthers (8-1, 5-0) rolled up 654 yards of total offense in their sixth straight win. Tom Stewart tossed three touchdown passes, including two to Xavier Suggs, for Parish. Cam Roane kept the Lions (7-2, 3-2) close by throwing for 365 yards and four scores.
Bishop Lynch 62, Trinity Christian 49
In another wild game for the Trojans (4-5, 2-4), Christian Hutzler threw for 399 yards and five touchdowns, Jack Savage caught 12 passes for 156 yards and two scores, and Nahshon Ellerbe added two touchdown runs. But the Friars (6-4, 3-3) prevailed behind a powerful rushing attack that rolled up 460 yards as a team, including 322 yards and five scores from Rawleigh Williams.