Skyline topples The Woodlands with late rally

WACO, Texas -- Dallas Skyline hadn't experienced a halftime deficit this season.

The Woodlands changed that, opening strong and building a 10-point lead at halftime. But Skyline kept pounding away, and the offense rebounded from earlier mistakes to get the lead late in a 35-31 victory in the Class 5A Division 1 Region II final Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.

Raiders quarterback Devante Kincade threw for a score and ran for two more, including the game winner on a fourth-and-goal.

Skyline coach Reginald Samples said the team didn't need any special words in the locker room to rally for the second half.

"Come out and play like we play," Samples said. "They got every brake in the first half, but that's the way football is. If you just believe in yourself and your team, it's possible."

Skyline will face off with Southlake Carroll, also 14-0, Saturday at SMU's Ford Field for a spot in the state title game.

The Woodlands held a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter when Skyline's Ellis Onic found the end zone for the second time in the game. The senior broke two arm tackles near the line of scrimmage and then made another Highlanders player miss with a cutback in the secondary, scoring from 35 yards and cutting the deficit to 31-28 with 10:24 to play.

The Woodlands went three-and-out, and Skyline regained possession with a chance to take its first lead of the game.

Kincade ended a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a fourth-and-goal run from the 1 and Skyline was on top, 35-31.

The scoring drive consumed over six minutes, but Woodlands still had 2:59 to change the outcome. The Highlanders moved the ball into Raiders territory and sat with a first down at the Raiders 28 with just under a minute on the clock.

Skyline's defensive line picked up the pressure and forced The Woodlands into two incompletions to end the game. The final deflection coming from Patrick Robinson on fourth down with just seconds on the clock.

"It was a battle," Skyline running back David Greene said. " We've been looking for one. Now were going down to the finals and we just have take it one game at a time. It's not going to be easy."

Greene had 129 yards to led a rushing attack that gained more than 300 yards and dominated time of possession, but it was Skyline's turnovers in the first half that forced a rally.

The Woodlands' Kolbi Brown intercepted a Kincade pass and raced 66 yards to give the Highlanders a 7-0 lead without its offense taking a snap.

Onic scored his first touchdown on Skyline's following possession from three yards out to tie the score, 7-7.

Blake Webb had a 3-yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter, and Marshall Bainton's 23-yard field goal pushed The Woodlands' lead to 17-7.

Kincade cut the lead to 17-14 with an 8-yard run with 3:43 left in the first half.

Skyline would get the ball back again before the half but it would be at its own 1 with 51 seconds left. The Raiders decided not to play it safe and the move would bite them.

The Woodlands Lane Lebouf interecpeted Kincade on the sideline, and the Highlanders were set up with great field position at the 25. Lance Miles connected with Houston Brown for a 11-yard touchdown pass and The Woodlands lead was 24-14 at the break.