Senior quarterback Blake Short threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns while Pierce Hudgens rushed for 127 yards on 20 carries to lead Flower Mound past Keller to secure the Jaguars’ first-ever playoff win, 31-30, in a Class 6A Division I bi-district matchup Friday at Neal Wilson Stadium.
“What a special moment and experience,” said Brian Basil, Flower Mound head coach. “We beat a very good Keller football team tonight which should give us some momentum heading into the second round.”
The Jaguars likely couldn’t have scripted a more fitting way to etch their first postseason victory, carrying a 24-10 lead into the fourth quarter before having to improbably rally for their playoff lives in game’s closing moments. That two-score advantage dissipated into a 30-24 deficit with 1:25 left in the game after Keller’s Mason Hayes hauled in a 61-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Anderson for the go-ahead points. However, junior Stone Eby had a crucial block on Keller's final extra-point try, keeping the Flower Mound deficit at six.
From there, Short and Co. went to work — amassing a nine-play, 75-yard drive that saw Short complete seven passes, the last coming on a 3-yard toss to senior Reid Touchstone for the tying points. Junior Bert Auburn broke the stalemate with an extra point for the eventual one-point win, vaulting the Jaguars to the area round of the playoffs, where they’ll be tasked with taking on Class 6A Division I runner-up Duncanville at 3 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
Friday’s first-round tilt was a shootout from the get-go, with Short and Anderson both throwing for over 300 yards. Flower Mound got on the board first after a 28-yard field goal by Auburn to go up 3-0 with 4:58 remaining in the first quarter.
The Indians answered immediately.
Keller went up 7-3 after driving the length of the field when Enoch Ntchobo plunged 1-yard up the middle at the end of the first quarter.
The Jaguars responded with a 17-3 run to amass a 24-10 lead, with Hudgens scoring on a 5-yard run early in the second quarter and Short later finding Touchstone on a 13-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter.
Anderson fueled Keller’s fourth-quarter rally, connecting with Nick Rocha (38 yards) and Hayes on touchdown passes, with Ntchobo mixing in a 20-yard scoring run to tie the game at 24-24 with 5:57 to go.
Despite being out-gained 535-439, Flower Mound was paced by big nights from Short and Hudgens, while sophomore Parker Clark caught 10 balls for 95 yards and Touchstone added six catches for 59 yards and two scores. The win improved the Jaguars to 8-3 on the season, while Keller concluded its campaign at 7-4.
-Matt Welch contributed to this story