PROSPER – The Lake Dallas football team got a much-needed boost Friday night with the return of senior quarterback Brendan Sorsby after a three-game absence because of a hand injury. But it was Sorsby’s counterpart, Rock Hill senior Brenner Cox, who had the Blue Hawks clicking on all cylinders.
Cox completed 16-of-26 passes for 274 yards and also carried nine times for 41 yards with five total touchdowns in a 56-35 victory for Rock Hill at Children’s Health Stadium.
“Brenner did an unbelievable job of preparation, the leader of our team, the leader of our offense and it showed tonight,” said Mark Humble, Rock Hill head coach. “He controlled the offense, controlled the tempo, was great in the running game, great in the quarterback-run game and in the passing game. I can’t brag on him enough. Our team kind of revolves around him.”
The win was the second straight for the Blue Hawks (4-4 overall, 3-3 District 7-5A Division II), who remain just one game behind Denison (6-2, 4-2) for the league’s final playoff spot.
“I thought that Sorsby did a good job,” said Jason Young, Lake Dallas head coach. “Our offense struggled early, and after being out for a few weeks, that’s going to happen. We weren’t quite in rhythm. But I was really happy to see them start to click in the second quarter. We got going. We’ve got a chance this next week to be back in rhythm.”
It didn’t take long for Rock Hill’s offense to get going.
Cox threw touchdown passes of 19 and 3 yards to Luke Knight and Justin Pittman, respectively, and also rushed for scores of 3 and 4 yards in the second quarter as the Blue Hawks built a 34-14 halftime lead. Cox had 234 passing yards by halftime.
Rock Hill senior running back Donovan Shannon complimented the Blue Hawks’ passing attack very well. Shannon shed several Lake Dallas defenders nearly the line of scrimmage and burst 34 yards for a touchdown with 3:40 left in the first quarter.
With the Blue Hawks ahead by 20 points at halftime, Rock Hill rode Shannon in the second half. He finished with 233 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
As for Lake Dallas, Sorsby started the game well with a 12-yard completion to Evan Weinberg on the first offensive snap of the gain for the Falcons. But the team proceeded to struggle on offense and didn’t find much of a rhythm until midway through the second quarter.
Lake Dallas had its chances but couldn’t connect on a few long passes. Sorsby threw a perfect ball to junior Niki Gray near the Rock Hill 35-yard line. Gray was a yard ahead of a defender when he ran up the field but he dropped the pass. Sorsby also misconnected with Weinberg on another downfield pass later in the first quarter and overthrew Javaan Evans on a pass to his left early in the second quarter.
On the play immediately following Sorsby’s overthrow of Evans, Rock Hill senior Gabe Humbarger intercepted a pass on a tip drill to give the Blue Hawks possession at the Lake Dallas 37. Rock Hill converted the turnover into points. Cox ran the quarterback keeper 3 yards for a score and a 28-0 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.
Lake Dallas finally found some traction on offense later in the second quarter. Gray hauled in a 32-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-five on the ensuing possession for the first points of the game for Lake Dallas. Sorsby ran in from the 3-yard line on the next Falcon possession, cutting the deficit to 34-14.
Sorsby added a 6-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Lake Dallas added two more scores in the second half – a 5-yard run by Godwin Ugochukwu and a 64-yard pass from Cade Bortnem to Gray. Gray hauled in four receptions for 113 yards.
Sorsby finished 11-of-27 for 154 yards and also carried 13 times for 135 yards with three total touchdowns.
Rock Hill returns to action at 7 p.m. Thursday against Frisco at Toyota Stadium. Lake Dallas concludes its season Friday at Falcon Stadium against Frisco Memorial.