Frisco junior Chase Lowery (4) led a stingy defensive effort by the Raccoons on Friday.

It was a clash of wills inside The Ford Center at The Star on Friday night for a highly touted area rematch from a year ago. Frisco and South Oak Cliff are two programs that follow the same formula to win — run and flash a swarming defense. 

In a game that played out exactly as such, it was the Raccoons’ defense that was the difference in an 18-0 victory that sent Frisco to the third round. 

For two teams that have combined for over 3,000 yards on the ground over the course the 2019 campaign, Frisco’s defense set the tone early. Capitalizing on turnovers, a theme all night, the Racoons pounced on a muffed punt by South Oak Cliff return man Jimmy Wyrick. With field position inside the opponent's 35-yard line, Frisco was in the end zone three plays later. 

Bryson Clemons, the senior back for Frisco, ran down the center of the South Oak Cliff defensive line for a 24-yard touchdown just three minutes into the game. In a contest where the clock elapsed quickly, a touchdown advantage loomed large for the rest of the evening. 

That, and the play of junior Chase Lowery, would take care of the rest for Frisco. His two interceptions would stifle any chance South Oak Cliff had at finding the end zone. Clemons himself would finish with 111 yards on the ground rushing. 

Even nursing a large lead for most of the game, there was a tension on the Frisco sideline. Memories of playoffs past had to be on the minds of some of the players, or even the fans, as last year the Golden Bears knocked out Frisco, 48-13, in the second round of the playoffs. 

This year though, South Oak Cliff found it hard to even find a yard. 

Lowery was largely responsible for the rest of the scoring on a night, starting in the second quarter. Right before both teams were ready to go into the locker room, with Frisco leading 8-0, the cornerback came up with his first interception and returned the ball into South Oak Cliff territory. 

As the seconds waned before the intermission, Jake Gaster tacked on three points to the lead with a 40-yard field goal. 

In the second half, it was the defense again the shined. South Oak Cliff was on offense for most of the game with the Frisco rushing attacking sputtering. On the night, the Golden Bears actually out-gained the Racoons 211-196, but on third down they simply could not move the chains. 

South Oak Cliff quarterback Jacob Stayman could not find the touch to open receivers down the field and continued to watch the punter go to work situated deep in his own territory. Both teams would only be able to combine for 18 first downs, an 11-7 edge for South Oak Cliff. 

It was Lowery’s final interception that sealed the win with just under five minutes to play. Even with things already looking grim for the Golden Bears, Frisco shut the door on any hope with a Lowery interception returned for a touchdown. 

Easily hauling in Stayman’s lofted pass at around midfield, Lowery tiptoed down the sidelines and found pay dirt. He then proceeded to don the raccoon skin on his head as the Golden Bear faithful were hushed for the final time. 

“That big pick-six helped boost the momentum. It was a dagger and it made everyone confident that we could do it,” Lowery said of his two interception night.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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