ARGYLE — Wichita Falls Hirschi gave the No. 3-ranked Argyle Eagles' high-octane offense all it could handle, but the Eagles' depth and opportunistic defense stood its ground.
Argyle (9-0, 4-0 District 4-4A) used a 23-point second half en route to a 37-19 victory against the Huskies on Friday at Eagles Stadium. The victory, Argyle's 27th straight at home and 43rd straight in district, secures it at least a share of the District 9-4A title.
"The game was closer than what the score indicated," Argyle coach Todd Rodgers said. "We knew Hirschi was a good team coming in, but I think our defense for the most part kept some really good offensive skill players in check, including their running back."
The Huskies running back Rodgers refers to is Daimarqua Foster, who has rushed for 2,314 yards and has 35 total touchdowns this season.
Heading into Friday night's contest, Foster had four consecutive 300-yard rushing games. Against the Argyle defense dubbed "the black swarm," Foster was held to 177 — the bulk of which came on the game's first score, an 83-yard burst to give the Huskies and early 6-0 lead with 5:07 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles responded with a late score in the first when junior quarterback Hayden Clearman — stepping in for Jon Copeland, who tore his ACL in a win against Sanger last week — found Wes McCollum streaking down field and hit him in stride in the back of the end zone for a 33-yard score to give Argyle a narrow 7-6 lead.
Clearman completed 15 of his 22 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the win. MCollum led the receiving corps with four catches for 82 yards and a pair of scores, and Don Williams rushed for 100 yards for the eighth straight game.
Hirschi (7-2, 3-1) was forced to punt on its ensuing drive, and the Eagles responded with a 1-yard touchdown run from Noah Lang on fourth down to give them a 14-6 halftime lead.
"Noah's touchdown was huge for us to gain some confidence heading into the locker room," Clearman said. "I knew at some point he'd get in [the end zone]."
Just before halftime, Huskies quarterback Martez Vrana connected with Banks to Argyle's 28-yard line, but defensive back Slater Wright punched the ball out and Brenden Dixon jumped on it to end the half.
To open the second half, Vrana found Banks down the Huskies sideline for a 40-yard score to bring them within a point at 14-13.
The teams traded punts, then Clearman hit McCollum again for their second touchdown connection of the night — a 25-yard touchdown pass Clearman had to fit over the defender's outstretched arms.
The next Hirschi drive was a turning point for the Argyle defense. On 4th-and-1, Vrana was stuffed at his own 39. Nine plays later, Argyle kicker Travis Garner made it 24-13 with a 22-yard field goal.
Vrana scored to open the fourth quarter, but the Eagles didn't fret.
On its next two offensive possessions, Argyle stuck to the ground attack of Lang and Williams and scored twice to seal the game.
Williams scored his lone touchdown of the game, a 5-yard plunge with 6:14 to go. A three-and-out for the Huskies followed and Lang found the edge for a 34-yard touchdown to seal the victory.
Argyle squares off against last-place Burkburnett at 7 p.m. Friday to end the regular season.
"Any kind of atmosphere to help us prepare us for the playoffs is a plus, and tonight Hirschi gave that to us," Rodgers said. "I'm proud of our quarterback for how he responded, and what he and the rest of the team will accomplish this season."
JIMMY ISBELL can be reached at 817-781-0379 and via Twitter @Jimmy_Isbell12.
Argyle 37, WF Hirschi 19
HI -- Daimarqua Foster 83 run (kick failed)
AY -- Wes McCollum 33 pass from Hayden Clearman (Travis Garner kick)
AY -- Noah Lang 1 run (Travis Garner kick)
HI -- Javen Banks 40 pass from Martez Vrana (Jhaidon Duran kick)
AY -- Wes McCollum 25 pass from Hayden Clearman (Travis Garner kick)
AY -- Travis Garner 22 FG
HI -- Martez Vrana 6 run (run failed)
AY -- Don Williams 5 run (run failed)
AY -- Noah Lang 34 run (Travis Garner kick)
Rushing -- AY: Don Williams 24-127, Noah Lang 9-51, Hayden Clearman 7-7, Team Stat 1--3, HI: Daimarqua Foster 25-177, Martez Vrana 14-53.
Passing -- AY: Hayden Clearman 15-22-1-197, HI: Martez Vrana 10-28-0-125.
Receiving -- AY: Wes McCollum 4-82, Cale Nanny 4-44, Chase Estrada 2-22, Bryson Hudgens 2-22, Don Williams 2-15, Noah Lang 1-12, HI: Javen Banks 3-85, Xavier Wilson 4-22, Isaiah Esquibel 2-14, Daimarqua Foster 1-4.