ALLEN, Texas — Things were different this time around, as Prosper and Frisco Wakeland met in the first round of the playoffs — with a 38-14 finish in favor of the Eagles — for the second year in a row on Thursday at Eagle Stadium.
After a back-and-forth first half, Prosper (9-2) held Wakeland (7-4) scoreless in the second half and pulled away for a 38-14 victory in the 5A Region I bi-district playoffs. It’s the first playoff win for Prosper since Brandon Schmidt became head coach.
“[Wakeland] is a great team and a great program,” Schmidt said. “We just wanted to come out here and get a first-round playoff win so we can keep playing.”
Prosper out-rushed Wakeland 321-to-11 in what turned out to be a blowout in dominating fashion. Wakeland led 14-7 early in the second quarter but from there, Prosper scored 31 unanswered points, largely thanks to a huge day from running back Kaleb Adams. The senior finished with a season-high 245 yards and three touchdowns on the night, providing a steady presence and gaining consistent chunks of yardage all game.
Two of his scores came in the second half, including a momentum-shifting 24-yard scamper on fourth down early in the third quarter to make the game 28-14.
“[Adams] is a stud,” Schmidt said. “He’s hard to bring down and runs hard. He’s got a low center of gravity, a thick lower body, and great vision.”
Ultimately, Adams and the rest of the Prosper offense was set up with great field position because of their defense. The Eagles caused three turnovers in total, including a huge interception by senior Blake Harrington in the red zone with just over two minutes left in the first half. That came after Harrington muffed a punt and was not able to recover the ball early in the first quarter.
His interception gave Prosper the ball back at their own four-yard line with 2:16 left on the clock in the second quarter. Prosper was able to drive all the way down the field, using all three of their timeouts and managing the clock along the way. Quarterback Keegan Shoemaker capped it off with a touchdown throw to Jostein Clarke with five seconds remaining, giving Prosper a 21-14 lead.
“I had thrown a pick maybe a drive or two before,” Shoemaker said. “I knew we needed something to get us going right before the half.”
Wakeland quarterback Dylan Cadwallader had full control of his offense in the first half, completing 12-of-14 passes. However, Prosper’s defense adjusted and was able to bounce back after the break, causing Cadwallader’s second interception, a lost fumble, and two turnover-on-downs to seal the victory.
“We won the turnover battle today,” Prosper defensive back Wayne Anderson said. “That’s what flipped the momentum.”
Cadwallader finished 21-for-32 with 274 yards and two touchdowns, all below his season averages. Both touchdowns throws went to receiver and Arizona commit Tre Adams, who ended with nine catches for 118 yards.
Prosper moves on to face the winner of Poteet and Marshall in the second-round next week. Time and location are to be announced.
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