HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Cedar Ridge defeats Coppell in overtime thriller

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WACO - Cedar Ridge continued its historic season in thrilling fashion, beating Coppell 35-34 in an overtime thriller at Waco's McLane Stadium on Saturday night.

Raiders quarterback Ezekiel Coss scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime on a throwback pass, and despite a touchdown run by Coppell quarterback Brady McBride just minutes later, the Cowboys saw the tying extra point sail off to the right and stood in stunned silence as the Raiders rushed the field. 

Texas A&M-bound kicker Caden Davis had missed a potentially game-winning 52-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.

In a back-and-forth game, the relentless ground attack of the Raiders kept the momentum on the Cedar Ridge side, as their 21 unanswered points from the final minutes of the first half into the fourth quarter allowed them to chip away at the lead and set themselves up for overtime magic.

Cedar Ridge rushed for 235 total yards, led by sophomore running back Deuce Vaughn (27 carries for 163 yards). Vaughn and the group stepped up in the absence of star running back Simi Bakare, who went down with an apparent knee injury just two snaps into Saturday's match on the campus on Baylor University.

Before this season, Cedar Ridge had never been past the Area Round of the UIL state playoffs. Now, they'll face District 13-6A rivals Hendrickson for a chance to win the Class 6A, Division I, Region II postseason bracket.

The first quarter, and the top half of the second frame, was a duration dominated by the Cowboys from Coppell High. Three rushing touchdowns (twice by running back Ryan Hirt and one from quarterback Brady McBride) had Coppell up 21-7. It was the 21 unanswered points from the Raiders that made this the thriller it was.

Jaylen Ellis (five catches, 98 yards) caught two touchdowns - one from 52 and one from 14 - in the third quarter to tie the game. A big defensive stop and an Ezekiel Coss rushing touchdown gave Cedar Ridge the advantage late the game.

Nevertheless, the Coppell offense answered, as McBride squeaked into the endzone with just four minutes left to restore the tie, 28-28. Though the Cowboys had an opportunity to clinch the victory with :40 left in the game, kicker Caden Davis missed a 55-yard field goal, but the Texas A&M commit sailed it left and on to overtime the two clubs went.

Cedar Ridge got the ball first to begin the overtime period, and they did not waste it. Coss (11-19, 190 yards, 3 TDs) caught a 14-yard curl pass on a trick play that saw wide receiver Cash Rugely take a reverse pitch, turn, and nail Coss with the touchdown pass.

It wasn't long until McBride and the Coppell offense responded, however, as the Memphis-commited quarterback lowered his shoulder and powered into the endzone for the third time. With a chance to send the game into a second overtime session, Davis stepped into the point after and shanked it.

Cedar Ridge will face Hendrickson at one of Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex and The Pfield (pending a coaches' coin flip) in a regional final next weekend.

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