ALLEN, Texas — The Prosper Eagles made a big statement in what was projected to be a close game Friday night, beating Mesquite Poteet 53-20 in the area round of the 5A state playoffs.
The season is now over for Poteet (6-6, second in District 15), which made it all the way to the state semifinals in 2016. Meanwhile, it’s the first time Prosper (10-2, District 14 Champions) will be advancing to the regional round since 2012.
“It’s just a testament to our kids and our staff putting in the work,” Prosper head coach Brandon Schmidt said.
Prosper got off to a quick start and didn’t look back. After punting on their first possession, the Eagles scored on their next five drives, four of which went for touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Prosper defense flourished, holding Poteet to five consecutive three-and-outs. That included a drive that ended on a third-down interception by junior Wayne Anderson.
Prosper’s first score came on a designed quarterback draw on third down. Junior Keegan Shoemaker found a hole in the middle of his offensive line, ran straight through and had nothing but daylight ahead of him the rest of the way. The 63-yard score was Shoemaker’s longest run of the season. He finished the game with 152 yards on 12-for-15 passing along with 71 rushing yards.
“We were looking to get a first down, keep the sticks moving and stay on offense,” Schmidt said. “They blitzed both outside linebackers, [Shoemaker] saw it and he just ducked right underneath them and hit it.”
Senior running back Kaleb Adams got going about halfway into the first quarter on a 56-yard catch and run down the sidelines. He was tackled at the 4-yard line but quickly followed up with a touchdown run the very next play. Adams continued to dominate and finished the game with 159 yards on 27 carries, in addition to 104 receiving yards on three catches.
Arguably, the most impressive play for Adams came in a difficult situation. Up 32-6, Prosper managed to get the ball back on Poteet’s 45-yard line with 20 seconds remaining in the first half. On Prosper’s first play, Adams caught a screen pass on the right side of the field, cut vertically all the way to the other side and managed to get Prosper in position for another score. He took his next carry three yards into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game, giving the Eagles an even bigger cushion heading into the second half.
“I just go where I see is open,” Adams said. “It was late in the half. I was just trying to get us down the field so we could have a chance to score before the half was over.”
Star Poteet running back Seth McGowan was sidelined due to injury, one week after putting up 224 yards and four touchdowns. Dez Bridgeford performed well in his absence and cracked the 100-yard mark against a stingy Prosper defense, finishing with 113 yards on 19 carries. Bridgeford also contributed to the passing game, taking a screen pass 63 yards down the right sideline for a score in the third quarter.
Next up for Prosper in their regional matchup is a rematch against Mansfield Lake Ridge (11-1, District 10 Champions). Lake Ridge previously beat Prosper on the road 33-16 on Sept. 8 in the second week of the season.
With win streaks at 11 games for Lake Ridge and four games for Prosper, both sides should be in for a challenge. They’ll face off Friday, Dec. 1 at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton.
“We’re very different than we were in week two, and I’m sure they are too,” Schmidt said. “It’s going to be a fun game.”
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