With the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools playoffs right around the corner, Prestonwood Christian got some much-needed momentum Friday.
Playing their first game in two weeks, the Lions used a dynamic effort behind center from sophomore quarterback Maguire Martin and a turnover-minded showing by their defense to subdue state runner-up John Paul II, 31-21, in Friday’s regular-season finale.
The Lions enter the postseason at 3-2 in district and 4-3 overall, while John Paul, also seeing its first action since Oct. 30, sits at 2-3 overall and 2-2 in district.
Martin totaled 336 yards — 215 through the air and 121 on the ground — and four touchdowns in the win.
He had a hand in Prestonwood’s swift response to its lone deficit of the ballgame, trailing 24-21 in the third quarter after a 40-yard pick-six by John Paul junior Terrance Brooks. The Lions countered with a two-play series capped by a 51-yard touchdown pass from Martin to senior Ryan Rucker to regain a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
After forcing a John Paul punt, Martin struck one last time — scoring on a 7-yard run for the eventual 31-21 final.
John Paul lost a fumble on its ensuing drive, the last of three turnovers forced by the Prestonwood defense. That included a first-quarter interception by junior Jake Franklin that set up the Lions’ first points of the ballgame, as Martin connected with sophomore Derek Eusebio for a 51-yard score and a 7-0 lead with 2:22 left in the opening frame.
John Paul countered with a 70-yard touchdown run by senior Grant Robinson to draw even. Robinson paced the Cardinals’ ground game with 150 yards in the loss, while junior Chase Washington threw for 242 yards and a score. His top target was senior Myles Parker, who added 92 receiving yards and a touchdown.