When Horn started the season 0-7, there was still talk that the Jaguars could make the playoffs.
During their three-game winning streak to clinch a postseason berth, that conversation grew to a team that could make some noise in the playoffs.
Horn did just that on Friday, as Jermaine Givens hit N’Kowsi Emory on a 37-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left to lift them to a 45-38 victory over Temple in a Class 6A Division II bi-district playoff game at Wildcat Stadium.
The Jaguars (4-7) advance to the area finals to face Wylie (6-5) at 7 p.m. Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium, while Temple drops its third consecutive game to finish at 8-3.
Jermaine Givens has been unstoppable of late on the ground and he once again rushed for 220 yards, but he also got the aerial attack going, throwing for 288 yards. It was his arm that got the scoring started with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Jackson to take a 7-0 lead.
Temple countered with a scoring run from De’Jon Overton, but the Jaguars came right back, as Richard Garcia booted a 45-yard field goal and Givens broke free for a 43-yard touchdown to give them a 17-7 lead.
As was the case for most of the night, the Wildcats answered, as Quentin Johnston threw touchdown passes of 42 and 35 yards and Jared Wiley to give them a 21-17 advantage.
Horn was able to regain the lead at the half courtesy of a short touchdown run by Esaias Taylor, but Temple came right back early in the third quarter to draw even on a field goal by Aaron Wagaman.
The duel continued from there.
Givens hooked up with Donovan Payne on a 18-yard touchdown run, with the Wildcats matching that score on a scoring strike from Wiley to Overton.
Taylor added his second touchdown run of the night only to see Anthony Jackson return the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to tie it at 38-38 with six minutes left.
Horn got stonewalled on fourth down, giving the Wildcats an opportunity to surge ahead late, but the defense held.
That set the stakes for the dramatic finale, as Emory broke free for the go-ahead score and the Jaguars swatted down Temple’s final Hail Mary attempt to secure the win.
Allen 56, Rowlett 21
Rowlett was hoping that history would repeat itself on Friday as it took on Allen.
In 2007, the Eagles shocked undefeated and state-ranked Allen in a 37-32 victory in the first round of the playoffs.
There would be no repeat performance, though.
Allen proved to be too much as it improved to 11-0 with a 56-21 victory in a Class 6A Division I bi-district playoff game at Eagle Stadium.
Allen will face Rockwall in the area finals at 6 p.m. Friday at Williams Stadium while Rowlett finishes its season with a 7-3 record.
Allen jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter as Celdon Manning had a short touchdown run and Elijah Fisher recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Rowlett cut the deficit in half when Chase Toupal hit Antonio Hull on a 9-yard touchdown pass, but Allen regained control during the rest of the second quarter, as Grant Robinson had a 5-yard scoring run and Grant Tisdale found the end zone from 40 yards out to take a 28-7 halftime lead.
Tisdale again broke free on a 55-yard run early in the third quarter to keep Allen in charge.
Rowlett was able to score twice on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Toupal to Jerry Evans and a short scoring run by Chauncey Amos, but it was sandwiched around a touchdown pass from Tisdale to Blaine Green.
Amos’ run had cut it to 42-21, but Allen pulled away from there, as Raylen Sharpe hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Tisdale and added a 7-yard touchdown run to provide the final margin.
Waco Midway 48, Mesquite 13
Mesquite made the playoffs for the first time in five years, but its first postseason win since 2012 will have to wait as Waco Midway proved too much in a 48-13 victory in a Class 6A Division I bi-district playoff game at Panther Stadium.
The Panthers (9-1) will square off with Sachse (8-3) in the area finals at 7 p.m. Friday at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield, while the Skeeters finish their season at 5-5.
Waco Midway grabbed a 13-0 lead in the first quarter until Mesquite answered on a 8-yard touchdown run by Ja’Darion Smith to make it a one-score game.
The Skeeters could not capitalize on the momentum, however, as James Fullbright had a short touchdown run and the Panthers got a big lift from a pick-6 by Trevius Hodges to make it 27-6 at halftime.
After a touchdown pass from Nick Jimenez to Demarcus Degrate, Mesquite got a lift when Gary Green returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, but that would be all that the Panthers would allow, as they moved on in the playoffs.