Updated: Jan 11
Manny Muhammad - Dallas South Oak Cliff
Dallas South Oak Cliff capped off a magical season with a 23-14 victory over Liberty Hill. The Golden Bears used a balanced offense and a discipline defense to win the Texas UIL 5A Division II State Championship. It’s the first state football championship won by an inner-city school since 1985.
“This was a fitting win, because it tested our character. It tested our ability to stay locked in through peaks and valleys we talked about all year.” SOC Head Football Coach Jason Todd said after the monumental and historical win. Todd is Dallas through and through being a Dallas ISD alum (Dallas Lincoln). “I’ve only went to school in Dallas, I’ve only coached in Dallas, so everything about me is born and bred here.
SMU signee Kevin Henry-Jennings was the Offensive MVP with 144 yards and 2 touchdowns passing. "It was a big moment for us. We came out and played how we were suppose to play. It means a lot, we did this for the whole Dallas. We had them on our back, so we just kept pushing for them." Henry-Jennings
Henry-Jennings got the Golden Bears to an early with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Wideout Corinthean Coleman to go up 7-0 in the 1st quarter. He threw his second touchdown pass to Wideout Jamyri Cauley on a beautiful fade ball from 27-yards out to put SOC up 14-0.
Then SOC had to battle some adversity that coach Todd talked about, as Liberty Hill rallied off 14 straight points of their own. The Panther offense used big runs by Running Backs Joe Pritchard and Noah Long on back to back 8 play drives that were both capped off by Andon Thomas touchdown runs. The Panther defense led by former Houston Baptist commit Defensive End Lloyd Johnson and Air Force commit Outside Linebacker Aaron Brewer disrupted the SOC offense and did not let them score the rest of the half. The ball game would go into halftime tied at 14.
The SOC coaches went in halftime and made some great adjustments that ultimately won them the game. Liberty Hill rushed for 208 yards in the first half, but SOC Defensive Coordinator Kyle Ward made great adjustments limiting the Panthers to only 68 yards and scoreless in the second half. The Defense was led by Defensive MVP Abdul Muhammad who had 10 tackles, and a pass break up on a key 4th down play on a fake punt. Defensive Backs Jayvon Thomas (7.5 tackles) and TCU signee Kyron Chambers (7 tackles) had big games also for the Golden Bear defense.
SOC Offensive Coordinator Jacoby Walker used more of the running game to control the ball and score the points that were the difference in the game. Running Back Ke'Undra Hollywood had some big runs that set up scores. Kicker Diego Varela scored the first points of the second half with a 29-yard field goal to give SOC a 17-14 lead. SOC added to their lead, as North Texas signee Qualon Farrar ran it in from 17-yards to put SOC up 23-17. SOC forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to seal the victory.
Among the 42,275 in attendance were city leader, celebrities, Dallas ISD alums, and just fans of what the South Oak Cliff team represented. Coach Todd said it best, "It just shows you if the right thing is going forward we can get the whole city behind it. That's what's big, because it's not just a South Oak Cliff thing, this was about Dallas. To put Dallas back on the map and show we can play ball with anybody in the state of Texas."
And that they did. Congratulations to the Dallas South Oak Cliff community on bringing a state title to the city of Dallas.