Sanger head coach Chuck Galbreath knew it was a huge risk, but the Indians could have run out the clock for a postseason win if they had converted on fourth-and-4.
After deciding to fake a punt with a 3-point lead and 5:21 left to play, Sanger mishandled the snap to turn it over on downs and set up Frisco Lone Star for a 32-yard drive that ended the Indians’ season with a 46-42 bi-district loss Friday night at Denton’s Bronco Field.
“We did not stop them very well, and we felt like we had a fake that we hadn’t shown,” Galbreath said of his decision. “We didn’t execute the play, and we gave them the short field.”
Sanger (6-5) controlled most of the game, combining for 561 total yards to 496 by Lone Star (7-4), but the Rangers ultimately advanced to play in the area round next week against Princeton, which crushed Ferris 50-22 on Friday.
Indians running back Tre’von Jackson said the team felt it was in control for most of the game, but he came away befuddled about the momentum shift in the final minutes.
“It didn’t feel like it,” the junior said of his team losing momentum late. “We just tried our best and did everything we could. I don’t know what happened [at the end].”
Each team’s running back shared in stealing the show as Jackson rumbled for 219 yards and four scores on 25 carries, while Lone Star’s Ramon Harris led all rushers with 25 carries for 280 yards two touchdowns.
Jackson struck first on a 5-yard run, followed by Harris’ 64-yard option run to even the score. Not to be outdone, Jackson responded with an 11-yard run to give the Indians a 14-7 lead through the opening quarter.
Lone Star quarterback Jason Shelley then scored on a 25-yard run, but Sanger quarterback Wyatt Broxson responded with a 34-yard play-action pass to Derek Shelby for a 21-14 lead.
Broxson, who finished 10-of-18 passing for 246 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, had to fill in late in the season when regular starter Brandon Mann went down with a knee injury. Galbreath thanked the senior for stepping up when the team needed him.
“Wyatt stepped up into our situation when Brandon got hurt and did a phenomenal job running the offense for us and being a leader for our team,” Galbreath said. “He’s a great young man, and I think he has a future [on the college level].”
Lone Star kicker Cameron Clark tacked on a 24-yard field goal to bring the Rangers within 21-17 at the half.
After the break, both teams traded scores until Harris broke a tackle near the goal line for a 6-yard score and a 31-28 Rangers lead heading into the final period.
Jackson scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Shelby extended the lead to 42-31 just 3 minutes later.
Lone Star running back Robert Hall punched in a 7-yard run to pull within 42-39 with 7:11 left to play before Sanger’s mishandled snap and the Rangers’ game-winning drive.
Despite the loss, Galbreath is confident about Sanger’s future.
“We’re very young on defense, but next year they’re going to be a year older and a year better,” Galbreath said. “We will be much improved on defense, I can assure you.”
“Our football program has a bright future in Sanger. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Frisco Lone Star 46, Sanger 42
Frisco Lone Star
SN — Tre’von Jackson 5 run (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Ramon Harris 64 run (Cameron Scott kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 11 run (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Jason Shelley 25 run (Cameron Scott kick)
SN — Derek Shelby 34 pass from Wyatt Broxson (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Cameron Scott 24 FG
LS — Michel Bordes 11 pass from Chase Moake (Cameron Scott kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 46 run (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Ramon Harris 6 run (Cameron Scott kick)
SN — Tre’von Jackson 6 run (Dakota Branch kick)
SN — Derek Shelby 1 run (Dakota Branch kick)
LS — Robert Hall 7 run (Austin De Leon pass from Jason Shelley)
LS — Jason Shelley 6 run (Cameron Scott kick)
Rushing — LS: Ramon Harris 25-280, Jason Shelley 26-133, Robert Hall 4-12, SN: Tre’von Jackson 25-219, Derek Shelby 13-69, Wyatt Broxson 14-46, Baley Garza 1--19.
Passing — LS: Jason Shelley 8-17-1-55, Chase Moake 1-1-0-11, SN: Wyatt Broxson 10-18-2-246.
Receiving — LS: Austin De Leon 6-38, Michel Bordes 1-11, Ramon Harris 1-9, Kerron Dedrick 1-8, SN: Baley Garza 2-81, Kyle Link 4-76, Damien Hallowell 1-37, Derek Shelby 1-34, Josh Secrest 1-11, Tre’von Jackson 1-7.