The Dallas Independent School District has gone six decades without a state football champion.
Dallas Skyline is threatening to end that long wait for a title.
Skyline (13-0), the new No. 1 team this week in the ESPNHS Texas Rankings, has three playoff wins under its belt and needs three more to make history. The Raiders face The Woodlands (12-1) in the Class 5A Division I Region II title game set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.
Skyline didn’t exist in 1950 when Dallas Sunset defeated Houston Reagan, 14-6, to capture the short-lived City Division state title at Dal-Hi Stadium. The DISD at that time was composed of five high schools in addition to Sunset: Forest Avenue, North Dallas, Adamson, Crozier Tech and Woodrow Wilson.
Sunset, which enjoyed great football success in the 1940s, started the 1950 season with a 2-2 record that included losses to Reagan (12-6) and Highland Park (14-0), then closed the season with a seven-game winning streak for a 9-2 record. The state playoff bracket for the City Division consisted of only four teams. Sunset, coached by Byron Rhome, defeated Fort Worth Arlington Heights, 12-6, to reach the final.
Two other teams came close to ending the DISD drought:
*Dallas Carter briefly wore the title of Class 5A state champion in 1988, only to be stripped of the title by the University Interscholastic League for the use of an ineligible player.
Carter won court injunctions to remain in the playoffs that season, right through a 31-14 victory over Converse Judson in the state final at Texas Stadium. The score was later changed to Judson 1, Carter 0 to reflect the forfeit. Linebacker Jessie Armstead, who went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL, was a member of that Carter team.
*Dallas Lincoln, under current Skyline coach Reginald Samples, came very close to winning the Class 4A Division II state title in 2004. Lincoln’s attempt of a 42-yard game-winning field goal in double overtime was blocked and returned 70 yards for the game-ending touchdown by Kilgore’s Nick Sanders. Lincoln failed to hold a 20-10 third-quarter lead that day in Waco. Byron Eaton, who went on to star in basketball at Oklahoma State, scored Lincoln’s final touchdown.
Skyline is in the fourth playoff round for the third time in five seasons. The Raiders lost regional finals to Plano, 41-20, in 2007, and to Round Rock Stony Point, 28-14, in 2008.