Panthers pull away from Sandies in second half
Colleyville Heritage receiver Hogan Wasson (4) sprints for a touchdown against Amarillo High during a Class 5A Division I area round game at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls. [Richard Cleaver/ For Press Pass Sports]
WICHITA FALLS— Don’t expect fans of Amarillo High to put Colleyville-Heritage on their Christmas card list any time soon.
Colleyville-Heritage scored 17 points in a two minutes and 25 seconds – one an interception return for a touchdown – in the fourth quarter and used the quick scoring-spree as the catalyst for a 44-25 Class 5A Division I area win ending Amarillo High’s unique 2020 season on Joe Golding Field at Memorial Stadium.
Unique because of the obvious challenges of playing a season when a world pandemic is going on, in AHS’ case the COVID leaving it with massive rust having not played for a little more than three weeks.
“We didn’t win from lack of effort,” said Amarillo High coach Chad Dunnam, his team ending 7-4 and refusing to make excuses over the massive layoff time. “Now we did make some mistakes and did bust our coverage, but I couldn’t be more prouder of what this team did this year.”
Colleyville-Heritage moves to 8-0 and advances to play the winner of Saturday’s Tascosa-Mansfield Summit area game next week in third round, or regionals.
AHS knew stopping strong-armed – and that’s an understatement – senior Panther quarterback AJ Smith-Shawver would go a long way in denying being eliminated by Colleyville-Heritage from the playoffs for the second straight year.
Smith-Shawver sent his message early this would be his day hitting Hogan Wasson for a 42-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes in for the games’ first score.
While AHS’ defense had major success against the Colleyville-Heritage running game except for a Braxton Ash 53-yard run late in the first half, stopping the pass was a whole different story.
Smith-Shawver threw for 436 yards completing 28-of-44 passes and a pair of long touchdowns.
The backbreaker arrived when Smith-Shawver found Hogan Wasson open over the middle for a 66-yard touchdown pass with 6:48 remaining for a 37-19 lead.
Just 46 seconds later Luke Lingard jumped Amarillo High quarterback Will Maynard’s short pass and scooted 14 yards for a pick six and a 44-19 lead.
“We had just held them to a field goal on that drive before and we were still in it,” Dunnam said. “The big pass play by their quarterback and then we made a couple of mistakes there and it got away in a hurry.”
The Smith-Shawver to Wasson connection was especially painful to AHS with Wasson catching nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
AHS finished with 341 yards of offense and did briefly lead in the first half as well as cutting the Colleyville-Heritage lead to 27-19 with 11:26 to play on a Luke Laminack 23-yard field goal.
AHS did several good things on the night.
Like the first half saw Amarillo High shake off the dust from the long layoff in nice fashion going toe-to-toe with Colleyville-Heritage.
There were four lead changes, one tie and an incredible 19 offensive possessions in the first half.
AHS looked headed to half with the lead when senior Maynard, making his second start since breaking his collarbone early in the season, found sophomore receiver Jameson Garcia for a 39 yard touchdown pass with 4:31 to play.
Garcia made a nice leaping catch around the 5-yard line, kept his feet and scored standing.
Although the extra point was botched on a high snap, AHS still lead 16-14.
However, Colleyville-Heritage did finish the first two quarters with a 20-16 lead when running back Ash found the sideline on a sweep and scored from 53 yards out with 3:40 remaining.
AHS never led in the second half.
Maynard finished completing 18 of 38 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
Garcia had two catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, senior receiver Cayden Phillips added two catches for 68 yards and a TD, while senior Davin Lemmons led the Sandies in catches with five.
Another highlight for AHS was a perfectly executed fumblerooskie play where Braylon Milligan ended up with the ball after all the trickery around the line and produced the longest run from scrimmage at 43 yards.
But the Sandies run game never found a groove.
Dunnam gathered his players – many in tears - around him after the game praising their effort, reminding them this loss will hurt but won’t define you, and simply said thanks.
“Our coaches love you, I love you,” Dunnam said. “This isn’t what we wanted. This isn’t the way we wanted it to end. But hey, I’m proud of you guys. You went through a lot of adversity this year and even tonight. But never quit fighting
Colleyville Heritage 44, Amarillo High 25
Heritage 14 6 7 17 — 44
Amarillo High 7 9 0 9 — 25
CH- Hogan Wasson 42 pass from AJ Smith-Shawver (Bryan Hansen kick, 10:08
AHS- Cayden Phillips 15 pass from Will Maynard (Luke Laminack kick), 5:30
CH-Braxton Ash 2 run (Hansen kick), 3:47
AHS— Laminack 27 FG, 7:42
AHS- Jameson Garcia 39 pass from Maynard (run failed), 4:31
CH-Ash 53 run (kick blocked), 3:40
CH-Ash 2 run (Hansen kick), 9:46
AHS-Laminack 23 FG, 11:26
CH-Hansen 21 FG, 8:27
CH-Wasson 66 pass from Smith-Shawver (Hansen kick), 6:48
CH-Luke Lingard 14 interception return (Hansen kick), 6:02
AHS-Taevon Hood 1 pass from Brock Wade (pass failed), 4:48
First Downs 14 21
Yards Rushing 111 108
Yards Passing 230 440
Total Yards 341 548
A-C-I 2-42-2 29-45-2
Fumbles/Lost 0-0 0-0
Punts/Average 8-38.5 6-39.6
Penalties-Yards 3-25 4-25
RUSHING – Amarillo High: Braylon Milligan 1-43, Taevon Hood 9-35, Levi Slaydon 13-24, Will Maynard 6-9; Colleyville Heritage: Braxton Ash 19-81, Isaac Shabay 7-28, Hogan Wason 1-3, AJ Smith-Shawver 1-(-)4.
PASSING – Amarillo High: Will Maynard 18-38-2_221; Brock Wade 1-3-0_1. Colleyville Heritage: AJ Smith-Shawver 28-44-2_436; Isaac Shabay 1-1-0_4.
RECEIVING- Amarillo High: Jameson Garcia 2-71, Cayden Phillips 2-68, Davin Lemmons 5-29, Tyeese Molden 3-28, Bryson Slaughter 4-25; Taevon Hood 4-9; Colleyville Heritage: Hogan Wasson 9-180; Leon Covington 7-91; Braxyon Ash 5-85; Michael Neves 4-55; Isaac Shabay 3-29; Mason Murdock 1-0.