Written by: Ben Spicer
Frisco and South Oak Cliff meeting up in the 5A playoffs has become a common occurrence of late.
The Raccoons and Golden Bears have met now in each of the last four seasons following South Oak Cliff’s 35-24 win in the second round matchup on Thursday from Globe Life Field.
With the win, the Golden Bears snapped a two year playoff losing skid at the hands of Frisco. Last year’s game came down to the final minutes, as South Oak Cliff had taken a 17-16 lead with 18 seconds remaining.
The ensuing kickoff was returned 71 yards by Frisco, and the Racoons freshman kicker Mason Stallons sank a 32-yard field goal to give Frisco a 19-17 win.
“We had to stay focused and learn from last year,” Golden Bears senior Ke’Undrae Hollywood said. “The 18 seconds, we lost in 18 seconds”
“Our team had got too happy and we had lost it, so we came back today and had to stay focused.”
South Oak Cliff was able to stymie the Raccoons game plan, and the Golden Bears took a play out of the Frisco playbook themselves.
Entering the game, the Raccoons were one of the state’s most prolific rushing offenses, averaging over 350 yards on the ground a contest.
Instead, it was the running of two South Oak Cliff seniors who took center stage: Hollywood and UNT pledge Qualon Farrar.
Farrar finished with 15 carries for 200 yards and two scores. Hollywood chipped in with 19 runs for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Kevin Henry-Jennings, a recent Missouri State pledge, finished 9-for-14 for 95 yards and a touchdown, coming on a 31 yard pass to Manny Muhammad.
While all phases of the offense were in unison, both backs credit their offensive line for the team’s success.
“They played great,” Farrar said. "This is their best game this year.”
Hollywood had even more praise for his guys up front.
“I love them big boys, they’re going to keep us in shape and they keep us going,” Hollywood said. “I’m going to always follow behind those big boys, I love them.”
Frisco’s strategy appeared to be working early.
The Raccoons picked up three first downs on their opening series and ate up over half of the first quarter clock.
However, a first down penalty put them behind the chains which was not ideal for their offense and play call. For an offense who had 80 percent of their total yardage on the season coming from their rushing attack, negative plays could be even more disastrous.
The false start led to the first drive eventually stalling. Frisco fumbled on the next play and recovered, but lost four yards in the process. Two plays later, Wyatt Carson was sacked for a 14-yard loss by sophomore Brandon Jones.
Jones is making his varsity playoff debut this season, and has a lot of motivation to be out there working with the upperclassmen.
“This is my first time playing in a varsity playoff game,” Jones said. "I want all my senior dudes to advance, I don’t want to go home early, so I had to put on a show for them and put on a show for my momma - and I had to do it for my great grandpa because he died last year around the same time, so I just did it for him.”
While he looked like a natural throughout this game, Jones says he wasn’t always a defensive player.
“At first I was a wide receiver, but my coach put me all on,” Jones said. “In the spring, he made me work hard, he made me come every day and that’s why I’m at where I’m at now.”
Jones was part of a South Oak Cliff defense that held Frisco to just 205 rushing yards, their second lowest output of the year.
The Golden Bears took the lead on the following possession and would not look back.
Farrar ended a six play, 91 yard drive with a 27-yard rushing scamper.
“I seen that hole and took it,” Farrar said.“Touchdown.”
While Farrar may be new for South Oak Cliff, he had heard all about this blossoming playoff rivalry between the Golden Bears and Raccoons.
“This is my first year with South Oak Cliff, but they told me all about how Frisco has been taking them out for there for the past three years,” Farrar said. “I just came to help them out and take the dub.”
From there, South Oak Cliff forced a Frisco punt, then added to their advantage.
Utilizing a series of spin moves, Hollywood found the end zone from 16 yards out for the highlight reel Golden Bears touchdown.
“I like to play Madden a lot,” Hollywood said. “That spin move, they were all arm tackling me so I had to spin and hit a couple more spins and got in the end zone.
“I like working on my juke moves in practice.”
Hollywood pulled off those moves better than Madden would ever allow.
The Raccoons scored first with 9:04 before halftime on a 46-yard Gavin Marshall field goal.
Just as they had all game, though, South Oak Cliff stormed back.
That was when Henry-Jennings hit Muhammad for the 31-yard strike. The quarterback converted a fourth down and 10 earlier in the possession on an 11-yard pass to Kylin Mathis.
Frisco would get a Brandon Miyazono rushing touchdown from nine yards out with 49 seconds left in the second, and the Raccoons trailed now 21-10 at half.
Out of the break, it was the Golden Bears going the distance once more. Farrar capped off this long series with a six yard score, flipping over some big bodies in the trenches to dive over the goal line.
Trailing now 28-10, Frisco was able to continue making the game interesting as they responded with another Miyazono rushing score to cut the deficit to 28-17 with 5:22 to go in the third.
Miyazono finished with 20 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
South Oak Cliff could not score in response on their 14-play drive to answer. Frisco was going to get the ball back with a chance.
However, it was short lived, as the Raccoons punted back seven plays later.
The Golden Bears answered with Hollywood’s second rushing score to go ahead 35-17 with 8:49 remaining.
Frisco scored one more time to make the final 35-24, but ran out of time as South Oak Cliff was able to run out the clock and advance to the third round of the playoffs.
With the win, the Golden Bears will face Aledo on Friday, November 26 at 2 p.m. from Mansfield ISD’s Newsom Stadium.
The Raccoons finish their season at 10-2.