Sometimes all you can do is sit back and watch the fireworks. Friday's showdown between Round Rock and Cedar Ridge certainly produced plenty of them.
The Dragons and Raiders combined for more than 1,200 yards of total offense and more than 100 points Friday night at Dragon Stadium, and Cedar Ridge walked away with a hard-fought 58-47 win to keep its playoff hopes alive.
"So many different kids stepped up at different times," Cedar Ridge head coach Sam Robinson said. "Offensively they answered the bell and defensively, we made enough stops and that's all that counts. We did enough."
Cedar Ridge running back Deuce Vaughn was the star of the show, carrying the ball 38 times for 375 yards and four touchdowns.
"We played football, and that's what we preached all week," Vaughn said. "We just came out here and clicked. All we can do is win out, so we came in here and had fun, and it resulted in a win."
Jalen Brown passed for 100 yards and a touchdown, while fellow quarterback Jack Turner passed for 64 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a score. Devon Turner led the Raiders' receiving corps with 65 yards and a touchdown.
Round Rock junior Seth Ford was 13-of-45 passing for 387 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 92 yards and a touchdown. Collin Sullivan caught six passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns.
The Raiders and Dragons are no strangers to high-scoring games, as Cedar Ridge won last year's contest 70-56.
"We thought it might be a shootout," Robinson said. "Their offense is really explosive, and their defense has improved a lot. But we know our offense is explosive, too. You've got so many playmakers for both teams, they're gonna get some and you're looking for stops here and there."
The Raiders recovered a fumble on the Dragons' first play from scrimmage and scored their first touchdown just three plays later on a nine-yard keeper by Turner. Cedar Ridge scored two more times before Round Rock picked up a first down.
All hell broke loose in the second half of the second quarter.
The Dragons and Raiders combined to score five touchdowns in less than three minutes of gameplay. Four of those touchdowns went for 41 yards or more, and Vaughn 75- and 67-yard touchdown runs.
Round Rock fought back with a quartet of huge touchdowns in the second half.
Ford and Sullivan connected for a 50-yard score early in the third quarter, and Ford scrambled for a 47-yard touchdown with just over a minute left in the third quarter. The duo again connected for a 78-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and one-upped that breakout play with a 91-yard bomb with seven minutes left the game.
But Vaughn rushed for his fourth touchdown of the game - a seven-yard score in the fourth quarter - and kicker Chase Camp made a pair of late field goals to put the game on ice.
"This was big-time," Vaughn said. "It shows us that we can still play at the top of District 13-6A, and if we get a chance to get into the playoffs, we can go make a run. We're always hungry."
In the penultimate week of the regular season, Round Rock travels to Pflugerville to meet up with Hendrickson on Thursday night, while Cedar Ridge takes on McNeil next Friday night at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.
"We still need some help, but our big focus was to beat Round Rock," Robinson said. "The district is a lot tougher top to bottom than it's been. We're just going to take care of our end and see what happens."