The two teams were so well matched that the state title in Texas’ largest division literally came down to the final play. On this occasion, No. 6 Galena Park (Texas) North Shore had the ball, and No. 5 Duncanville (Texas) was left with the heartbreak.
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Trailing 36-35 with just three seconds remaining, North Shore found its Texas Class 6A state title hopes resting on a miracle, 45 yards from the end zone with just one snap to cover the ground. Mustangs sophomore quarterback Dematrius Davis dropped back, danced in the backfield to buy his teammates time, then heaved a monster pass to the right corner of the end zone. He had two receivers in the vicinity, with three Duncanville defenders between them.
WOW!! What an ending to the #UILState Championships!! North Shore 41 Duncanville 36 HAIL MARY!! pic.twitter.com/3Efnwcx0oU
— Tim Dennis (@TDennisSportTog) December 23, 2018
As good a pass as it was, there are no logical circumstances under which the ball should have been caught. But this was no logical game. The game featured two epic collections of underclass talent — 31 Division I scholarship holders and growing — and generated even more attention after Duncanville eliminated state superpower (and previous USA TODAY SUPER 25 No. 1) Allen a week earlier.
On Saturday, Duncanville appeared poised to be the team to escape with the last-minute bragging rights, scoring to take a 36-35 victory with just 1:08 remaining. Given the fierce defense played by both sides, that appeared too little time for North Shore to mount a final rally … but it did. Davis connected with receivers to move down the field quickly, then let loose with his now already famous heave which landed in the hand of receiver A.J. Carter for the game-winning touchdown.
The loss cost Duncanville coach Reginald Samples his first-ever state title — he previously fell short in double overtime when leading Dallas Lincoln — and kept Duncanville from its first state crown in an even 30 years. Samples’ reaction alone was so priceless and painful that it immediately gave berth to a series of memes online.
Duncanville loses a heart breaker #FSSW #Texasfootball #Duncanville #UILSTATE Those poor kids pic.twitter.com/u5D3PW5Kji
— Dustin Bortzfield (@DBortz918) December 23, 2018
And then there was the Duncanville sideline:
The @Duncanville_Fb sideline after that Hail Mary.
Tough to see. #UILonFOX pic.twitter.com/vTBX5Ga9PX
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) December 23, 2018
The loss was epic, but was so was the game. North Shore led 29-20 by halftime with a controlled passing attack, but Duncanville’s explosive offense kept pace just as its dominant defense got its footing back in the third quarter. That set the stage for Duncanville’s late comeback, and North Shore’s even later rally, capping the kind of play that makes any game an instant classic. This was certainly no exception.