Temple rode the strength of their defense to a showdown in AT&T Stadium with Highland Park, but the Wildcats fell to Highland Park 16-7.
Coach Scott Stewart, who is an advocate of stout defense, saw his Temple team halt the Highland Park offense from putting the final dagger in them when they forced Highland Park to punt from their own 44 with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter. However the ball, would bounce in favor of Highland Park, forcing Temple to start the drive at their 1-yard line down 14-7. Scot defensive lineman Turner Coxe shed his block and sacked quarterback Reid Hesse to force the safety.
“I got to give all the credit in the world to Coach Allen and the Highland Park staff, the players and the community. They have a phenomenal football team. I thought we played them well defensively. We didn’t really find any kind of stride today offensively and that’s unfortunate. You don’t want to have that kind of day in this kind of game but our kids played our guts out,” said Stewart.
That safety put Highland Park up 16-7 with 4:52 left in the game and in the driver’s seat towards capturing the 2015 5A Division I State Title.
Temple was actually the first to score and were able to keep the potent Highland Park offense at bay. Temple’s only touchdown came in the form of a Jemiyah Franklin’s 38-yard touchdown in the first quarter despite posting 300 total yards on offense and 17 first downs.
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