Skyline offense packs a punch vs. Klein Oak

WACO, Texas -- Three rounds into the playoffs, Dallas Skyline now knows its offense can pack as much punch as its defense when necessary.

Skyline's offense raced past Klein Oak and its defense came up with key stops to grab a 42-24 victory over the Panthers in a Class 5A Division I Region 2 matchup Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.

Skyline quarterback Devante Kincade threw for 167 yards and a touchdown and ran for 102 yards and a score, and receiver Thomas Johnson turned in the two biggest runs of the night. And the Raiders' defense constantly threw Klein Oak for losses and took the ball away in key moments.

Tron Richardson posted a pair of sacks, a tackle for loss and an interception, but he wasn't the only Raider swarming to the football.

"We're not a one-horse team," Skyline coach Reginald Samples said. "We depend on our whole team and we've got players all over. The defense kept playing hard even though we gave up some points."

By dismissing Klein Oak (9-4), Skyline (13-0) advances to the regional final round of the 5A Division I playoffs to face The Woodlands at 4 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.

Skyline held a 14-10 advantage as the third quarter began, but it didn't take long for the Raiders to extend that lead.

Johnson took a handoff on a jet sweep and flew through a seam and up the left hash for a 64-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the third quarter.

"To come out on the first play and have Thomas Johnson go for a touchdown, that changed our whole mindset," Kincade said. "We took off from there. We were determined to make it so everything was perfection."

Johnson tacked on a 41-yard touchdown on almost the exact same play at the end of the third quarter, giving him 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns on two carries.

Skyline running back David Greene added a touchdown, and Kincade threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to RaShaad Samples, who absorbed a hit inside the Panthers' 5, held himself up with his right hand and then hopped into the end zone for the Raiders' final score.

Klein Oak ran up more than 500 yards of offense, but Skyline turned away two Panther trips into the red zone and forced the Panthers to settle for a field goal on another.

"They're a good team and they're going to score points," Samples said. "But our defense kept playing hard and made plays."

Skyline forged ahead in a raucous first half in which the teams exchanged big plays, but couldn't convert them into points.

Klein Oak took the opening kickoff going into the stiff northern breeze, but it didn't slow down kick returner Torence Porter, who returned the ball to the Skyline 13. From there, Panthers quarterback Conner McQueen tossed a touchdown pass to receiver Tuff McClain for a 7-0 lead.

However, Skyline's defense refused to break for much of the rest of the first half. Klein Oak managed a 41-yard field goal by kicker Kwame Kuffour late in the second quarter. That was all Klein Oak had to show for more than 200 yards of offense in the first two quarters.

Skyline gained a 14-10 halftime lead by being more opportunistic.

Kincade directed an eight-play, 68-yard touchdown drive late in the first quarter to tie the game. Kincade made the key play, running 42 yards to set up Skyline at the Klein Oak 22. He also surged two yards to convert a fourth-and-1 from the Panthers' 3.

From there, Greene plunged into the end zone to tie the game.

Skyline took the lead midway through the second quarter as Kincade led a nine-play, 74-yard touchdown drive. This time, Kincade found Lamont Levels for a 48-yard gain to the Klein Oak 34 and Kincade ran 22 yards from there to the Panthers' 12.

Kincade finished the drive by scoring from three yards on a fourth-and-2.