Thanks to a touchdown in the final seconds, the Wilmer Hutchins Eagles were able to emerge victorious over the Kaufman Lions by a count of 31-28 on Nov. 13 in a Class 4A Division I bi-district playoff game at Forney’s City Bank Stadium. This game was definitely a true playoff thriller.
With this victory, Wilmer Hutchins, who is currently ranked seventh in the Dallas Morning News’ Class 4A and others Area Poll, improves to 5-1 overall on the season. Kaufman sees their 2020 football season end with a final record of 3-8.
The winning touchdown in this game came on a seven-yard touchdown run by Wilmer Hutchins’ senior quarterback Andre Henderson. This decisive touchdown came on a 4thdown play with 12 seconds remaining. This touchdown capped off a 10 play 52-yard drive.
Top offensive players in this game for Kaufman were Derek Clamon (12 carries for 64 yards and three touchdowns) and La’Damian Bailey (16 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown).
The defensive standouts in this game for Kaufman were Kyndall Trudeau (6.5 tackles), Daylon Dickerson (four tackles), Mason Ashton (5.5 tackles and one sack), Carlos Ramirez (8.5 tackles and one sack), Isaiah Leija (11.5 tackles), Kason Anderson (3.5 tackles), Brayson Gomez (four tackles), Jacob Nalls (11 tackles), and Caleb Longenecker (3.5 tackles).
Early on in this game, Kaufman caught a big break when on their first possession Wilmer Hutchins snapped the football over their punter’s head and the Lions recovered it on the Eagles’ three-yard line. Two plays later Kaufman scored on a three- yard touchdown run by Clamon. After the extra point by Yael Sandoval, Kaufman led 7-0 at the 8:25 mark of the first quarter.
However, Wilmer Hutchins responded with a nine play 75-yard touchdown drive which tied the game at 7-all. The touchdown came on a 45-yard pass from Andre Henderson to Jalin Moore on a fourth-down play.
This game would stay deadlocked at 7-all until almost midway through the second quarter. After forcing a Wilmer Hutchins punt, Kaufman began a seven play 68-yard touchdown drive. The touchdown was produced on an eight-yard run by Clamon. Sandoval’s PAT made the score 14-7 for the Lions at the 5:06 mark of the second quarter.
Then, a little later in the second quarter, Kaufman’s defense dug down deep and forced the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs during another possession. Kaufman took over the ball on the Eagles’ 46-yard line. On the very next play, Kaufman would score again thanks to an electrifying 46-yard touchdown run by Bailey. Sandoval’s extra point increased the Lions’ lead to 21-7 at the 3:35 mark of the second quarter. At this point, things were looking great for the Lions.
Wilmer Hutchins may have been down, but they were not out as they answered back with a seven play 80-yard touchdown drive to cut Kaufman’s lead to 21-14. The touchdown was registered on a 60-yard pass from Henderson to Moore.
At halftime, Kaufman led 21-14.
The third quarter was controlled by Wilmer Hutchins as their defense stepped and held the Lions scoreless in this stanza. Meanwhile, their offense scored 10 unanswered points to take the lead at 24-21. The points were registered on a 20-yard touchdown run by Nathaniel Wright and a 24-yard field goal by Landan Ontiveros.
In the fourth quarter, Kaufman would fight back. After forcing a Wilmer Hutchins punt, Kaufman marched 64 yards in 9 plays to grab 28-24 lead with 5:05 left in the fourth quarter. Clamon scored on a three-yard touchdown run to put the Lions in front.
But in the end, Wilmer Hutchins would have the final say as they would go on to the victory thanks to that dramatic aforementioned seven-yard touchdown run by Henderson.
Individually, the key players offensively for the Eagles in this game were Henderson (15 of 33 passing for 219 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions/11 carries for 74 yards and one touchdown), Nathaniel Wright (21 carries for 105 yards and one touchdown), and Jalin Moore (4 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns).
Despite the defeat, the Lions should be enormously proud of their efforts this season. To qualify to the playoffs out of one of the toughest football districts in the state of Texas is quite an achievement.
Kaufman Wilmer Hutchins
1st Downs 11 19
Rushing 32-226 35-186
Passing 14 219
Total 240 405
Individual Leaders for Kaufman
Rushing: LA’ Damian Bailey 16 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown. Derek Clamon 12 carries for 64 yards and three touchdowns.
Passing: La’ Damian Bailey 1 of 3 for 14 yards with one interception.
Receiving: Daylon Dickerson 1 reception for 14 yards.