ARLINGTON, Texas -- Music blared and players energetically danced in the DeSoto locker room celebrating the Eagles’ Kirk Herbstreit Classic win over Oklahoma City Frederick Douglass on Monday.
Frankly, after the 63-0 blowout, DeSoto had plenty of extra energy to run off that wasn’t used in the game at Cowboys Stadium.
The much smaller defending 4A Oklahoma state champion fell victim to DeSoto coach Claude Mathis’ desire for his team to find a rhythm on offense, as he kept his foot on the pedal well into the third quarter.
“This is only our second ball game,” Mathis said. “If it was like four or five ballgames deep, I would have pulled it off, but our kids are still learning our offense. I want perfection, so that’s what we did in the second half.”
In recent years, DeSoto (2-0), No. 7 in ESPN Dallas' Class 5A area rankings, had established itself as a pass-happy offense behind former quarterback Ryan Polite. Now, with a tandem of talented running backs and a new quarterback, Mathis has focused on running the option, which proved again to be a wise choice for this group of players.
Running backs Desmon White and Devin Rushing combined for 139 yards rushing and quarterback Raheem Wilson added two touchdowns on the ground.
Wilson also proved that DeSoto’s offense isn’t one-dementional, going 8-for-14 passing for 187 yards and three touchdowns.
“He was doing everything we asked of him,” Mathis said. “We don’t want him to be the hero, we just want him to go out there and run the offense. I’m very happy with Raheem right now.”
What Mathis said pleased him the most was his defense’s effort in preserving the shutout. But the shutout wasn’t nearly as impressive as the 50 total yards of offense DeSoto allowed in the game -- 35 rushing and 15 passing. After three quarters, Douglass (3-1) had managed only 2 yards of rushing offense.
“Our defense was lights out,” Mathis said. “Messed up the shutout last week [a 43-3 win over Leander], didn’t mess it up this week. I was proud of those guys. They worked hard all week and executed on defense.”
Mathis would not take any of the spotlight off of his players for the win, but his players recognized Douglass’ inability to play near the level DeSoto plays and found it slightly disappointing to dominate on the big stage of the Herbstreit Classic.
“Before we came out coach told us they won state last year, so I thought they would have a pretty good push, but I guess not,” running back Dontre Wilson said.