Story by Kelvin Justice and Photos by Byron Watters
The Skyline Raiders disposed of the Garland Owls Friday night at Wildcat-Rams Stadium 28-10 setting up a rematch with the Desoto Eagles next weekend at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas. After last year’s 41-36 Skyline, Desoto has been chomping at the bit to get a rematch and prove they are the better program. That time is now.
Skyline’s offense which struggled early in the season has improved by leaps and bounds. They now appear to have a potent offensive attack that has a good mix of run and pass. The driving forces behind that balance are junior receiver Thomas Johnson and sophomore quarterback Devante Kincade.
On the first offensive play from scrimmage, a pass to Johnson from Kincade, it was evident the junior wide receiver was going to be a mismatch for the Garland secondary all night. He was repeatedly targeted for crucial third down receptions including a 37 yard completion on third and 11 in the fourth quarter with the defensive back in great position.
When he was not flanked out wide, Coach Reginald Samples lined his talented charge up as a Wildcat Quarterback where he was equally effective. Penalties and two untimely turnovers by Kincade deep in Owl territory that were each returned past midfield, kept Garland in the game and were the impetus for their two scores.
Garland began the first quarter scoring with a 16 yard touchdown run by Malcolm Miller, who broke several tackles on his way to paydirt. This drive was setup by the first miscue by Kincade, an interception by safety Desmond Mack at the Garland 3 yard line that was returned 64 yards to the Skyline 33.
Skyline got their offense going in the second quarter with a beautifully thrown pass from Kincade to Rashard Samples streaking down the left sideline for 33 yards. This drive was setup by a poor Garland punt and a big personal foul penalty on the Owls. This concluded the halftime scoring as both teams went in tied 7-7 at the break.
The third quarter began with a long punishing drive by Skyline that started at their own 22 yard line. The Raiders faithful saw their team convert a 1st and 25 and a 4th down and 5 to drive the ball to the Garland 9 yard line. That is where disaster struck once again as Kincade ran a keeper to the left and was stripped by the Garland defense.
The ball was scooped up by Garland’s Marty Williams who had nothing but green in front of him and a convoy of teammates escorting him but pulled up with a leg injury around the Garland 40 and was caught from behind at the 50 yard line. Garland once again converted the turnover into points. This time a field goal that put them ahead 10-7 and from there the Skyline defense stuffed the Garland offense while the Raider offense scored 21 straight points to ice the game.
Skyline started on their 20 yardline where Kincade promptly hit Johnson for a 63 yard gain as he broke the initial tackle and tip-toed down the sideline to the Garland 17. A penalty and a QB sack left Skyline with 2nd down from their 24 where Kincade closed the drive with a strike to Sammy Hill to give them their first lead as the third quarter was coming to an end.
In the 4th quarter it was the opportunistic Skyline defense with two interceptions that led to a 26 yard touchdown pass from Kincade to Paul Dawson and a 26 yard run by Peter Jenkins to close out the scoring.
Overall, it was a very good effort for Skyline on both sides of the ball. Mistakes and costly penalties in the 3 quarters made the game closer than it would have been otherwise. Now, Desoto has the team they want. I have always heard, be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.