Warriors pick up sixth straight W, defeat Rangers 35-14

by dentonramsey

Warriors pick up sixth straight W, defeat Rangers 35-14


By Denton Ramsey / Sports Editor

South Grand Prairie picked up their sixth straight victory on Friday night, Nov. 10, defeating Dallas Jesuit 35-14 at Haggar Stadium.

On a cool, windy night, the Warriors looked to take care of business early.

Matthew Maldonado, starting in place of Denzel Dewberry due to precautionary reasons, looked great in his first true start.

After beginning the opening drive with great field position, Maldonado started things off on the right foot – taking the pigskin down to the Rangers 12-yard line on a quarterback keeper.

Three plays later, with 9:50 remaining in the opening quarter, the Warriors found paydirt on a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Dezman Longmiles to take a 7-0 lead.

Shortly thereafter, the Warriors defense came to the rescue as Thomas Ferguson picked off a Rangers pass at the South Grand Prairie 43-yard line.

But the Warriors were unable to capitalize on the ensuing drive, as both teams exchanged three-and-outs before SGP took over at midfield with 4:39 left in the first quarter.

And South Grand Prairie looked like they were going to take a two touchdown lead, as Maldonado led the Warriors down the field to the Rangers 18-yard line on a beautiful pass to Ryan Shannon.

On the very next play, Maldonado tucked the pigskin and ran for the end zone – only to be stopped short on a hard hit from the Rangers D.

As the pigskin slipped from Maldonado’s hands, Jesuit quickly pounced on the ball at their own 3-yard line to halt the Warriors drive.

The Rangers then went on a long drive of their own, running the clock – and the field – down to the end of the first quarter at the SGP 38-yard line.

And on a fourth-and-five attempt to begin the second quarter, the Rangers found the yardage they needed on a 6-yard pass completion to pick up a first down.

Jesuit capped off their 13 play drive with a touchdown, entering the end zone with 10:37 left in the first half on a Sam Crain 1-yard rush to tie the game, 7-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Rangers opted for a successful onside kick as Jesuit took over at the SGP 41-yard line.

But the Warriors D stood strong, holding the Rangers to a three-and-out as SGP regained possession at their own 19-yard line with 8:52 remaining in the second quarter.

And two plays later, Maldonado threw a beautiful 69-yard pass to a wide-open Trae Johnson for the go-ahead touchdown with 8:12 left in the first half to take a 14-7 lead.

The Rangers then took over at their own 20-yard line on a touchback.

But all Jesuit needed was one play to find daylight, as Kyle Miller took the pigskin 80 yards and to the house on a game tying touchdown with 7:58 left in the second quarter.

With the game deadlocked at 14-14, the Warriors took a shot on their ensuing drive as Maldonado was sacked in the backfield with 6:23 remaining in the opening half.

After a beautiful first start at the helm, Maldonado was carried off the field on a season-ending ankle injury as Warriors head coach David Fisher was forced to sub-in junior varsity sophomore Sedric Bates.

But the sophomore appeared to be able to carry the load when called upon.

After the Warriors defense stopped a Rangers’ fourth-and-two attempt, South Grand Prairie took over at their own 27-yard line with 3:06 left in the second quarter.

And five plays later, the Warriors were chasing daylight on a great throw from Bates to Johnson in the right corner of the end zone, as SGP took a 21-14 lead into halftime.

The second half was the Sedric Bates show, with some solid Warriors defense thrown into the mix.

After the Warriors took over on a quarterback sack fumble recovery, South Grand Prairie looked to capitalize on good field position.

And Bates did just that – driving the ball and the Warriors down to the Rangers 12-yard line on the first play of the drive.

Two plays later, Bates entered the end zone on a sweep right for the touchdown with 8:56 left in the third quarter to give SGP a 28-14 lead.

On the ensuing Jesuit drive, the Warriors D again came to the rescue, this time on a Patrick Nkwopara forced fumble recovered by South Grand Prairie’s Jeremiah Harris.

Both teams exchanged three-and-outs before the Warriors took over on a downed punt at their own 25-yard line.

Six plays later, the Warriors were sitting on first-and-goal as the time expired in the third quarter.

Two plays into the fourth quarter, it appeared as though the Warriors had taken a three touchdown lead on a Julian Shankle touchdown, but Shankle was called out of bounds on an awful call by the officials.

However, the Warriors capped off their 10 play drive with a touchdown, despite the efforts of the officials to control the game.

With 10:16 left in the game, South Grand Prairie pushed their lead to 35-14 on a Bates quarterback keeper.

Solid Warrior defense ate up a remainder of the fourth quarter clock, and with 6:14 remaining in the game SGP came up with another interception as Tim Wlodarczyk picked off an errant Rangers pass.

And after a few solid runs and a punt, the Warriors held on for a 35-14 road victory against Dallas Jesuit to close out their regular season on a six-game win-streak.

The Warriors open the Bi-District round of the playoffs on Friday, Nov. 17 against Arlington Bowie at Mansfield’s new stadium.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Sports Editor Denton Ramsey can be reached via e-mail at denton.ramsey@gmail.com