CORINTH — Lake Dallas overwhelmed Azle 56-20 in Friday night’s District 5-4A finale to guarantee the program a winning record and finish on a high note despite failing to reach the playoffs.
The Falcons (6-4, 3-4 district) had an 11-year playoff streak snapped when they two weeks ago but have since rebounded from four straight losses with two lopsided wins. They beat Fort Worth Brewer 41-14 last week and on Friday churned out a balanced offense with 261 rushing yards and another 204 through the air.
The late push has coach Michael Young optimistic about his young team. The Falcons are projected to return 15 starters in 2014.
“We played really well two weeks in a row, but it’s bittersweet because we played six really good games and four really bad ones and that was our downfall and why we aren’t in the playoffs,” Young said. “We’d be a tough out for someone if we played next week.”
Several of those young players showed their maturity on Friday night, including sophomore quarterback Dagan Haehn. Haehn completed 16 of 24 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for the team’s opening score five plays after Azle fumbled the opening kickoff.
Keegan Brewer, also a sophomore, caught six balls for 106 yards. His 27-yard touchdown catch with 3:14 left in the first half gave the Falcons a 28-7 lead. Junior Josiah Tauaefa scored on a 49-yard interception return to open the third quarter. He added a 3-yard touchdown catch from Haehn with 4:25 left in the same frame to extend the lead to 49-7.
“We came together as a group; coach said we needed to finish this one off right for the seniors,” Haehn said. “The seniors never laid down on us, so this wasn’t the time to lay down on them.”
The Hornets (3-7, 1-6) were outgained 465-158, with 78 of those yards coming in the first half. Defensively, they couldn’t contend with Lake Dallas’ rushing attack, which took pressure off Haehn and was led by Brandon Simpson’s 110 yards and two TDs
The Falcons were intent on striking fast. After Brewer’s touchdown catch, Lake Dallas stunned Azle with an onside kick to give itself the ball with prime field position. Haehn capped the seven-play, 42-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown to Brett Sasser with 10 seconds left in the first half for a 35-7 lead.
Lake Dallas 56, Azle 20
LD — Dagan Haehn 1 run (Nick Krygsman kick)
LD — Brandon Simpson 2 run (Nick Krygsman kick)
AZ — E.J. Salinas 9 run (Dylan Tritton kick)
LD — Brandon Simpson 12 run (Nick Krygsman kick)
LD — Keegan Brewer 27 pass from Dagan Haehn (Nick Krygsman kick)
LD — Brett Sasser 10 pass from Dagan Haehn (Nick Krygsman kick)
LD — Josiah Tauaefa 49 interception return (Nick Krygsman kick)
LD — Josiah Tauaefa 3 pass from Dagan Haehn (Nick Krygsman kick)
AZ — Dalton Cole 4 run (kick failed)
AZ — Jesse Salisbury 17 pass from Dalton Cole (Dylan Tritton kick)
LD — Mark Contreras 1 run (Nick Krygsman kick)
Rushing — AZ: Dalton Cole 11-49, Chase Smith 7-23, E.J. Salinas 3-8, Team Stat 1-0, Sean Townsend 2--3, Trevor Boiles 1--10, LD: Brandon Simpson 19-110, Dagan Haehn 10-74, Mark Contreras 5-24, Josiah Tauaefa 2-19, Thomas Parsons 5-19, Aaron Bearry 1-15, James Dunne 2-13, C.J. Harris 5-11, Keegan Brewer 1-7, Brett Sasser 1--1, Christian Perez 1--4, Team Stat 1--26.
Passing — AZ: Trevor Boiles 5-16-1-54, Dalton Cole 4-5-0-37, LD: Dagan Haehn 16-24-1-204.
Receiving — AZ: Matt Delprincipe 2-57, Jesse Salisbury 1-17, Tyler Albers 2-11, Dalton Cole 1-5, E.J. Salinas 1-4, Sean Townsend 1--1, Chase Smith 1--2, LD: Keegan Brewer 6-106, Brandon Simpson 2-42, Garrett Shackelford 2-19, C.J. Harris 3-17, Brett Sasser 2-17, Josiah Tauaefa 1-3.