Hendrickson upsets Sachse in 6A regional semifinal


WACO - Hendrickson advanced to the regional finals for the first time ever on Saturday, downing state-ranked Sachse 42-35 at Waco ISD Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Hendrickson, runners-up in District 13-6A, manhandled the game on both sides of the ball and advanced to the Regional Final round for just the second time in school history. Junior quarterback Blaine Barker went a perfect 14-14 over the air with 162 yards and a passing touchdown, coupled with 79 yards and two touchdowns on 19 rushing attempts to lead Hendrickson to the victory.

Despite a Sachse fourth quarter comeback attempt that nearly captured the game, a magnificent defensive performance by the Hawks (10-3) ousted previously unbeaten Sachse (12-1). The Mustangs were limited to 35 points, more importantly just 14 in the first three quarters, despite averaging 46.6 points per game over the course of their season.

Garland-Sachse wide receiver Trent Dean kicked off the scoring with a first quarter touchdown run on a one-yard reverse play. From there, the fourth-ranked team in all of Class 6A never saw the lead again. Barker nailed running back D.J. Jackson (21 carries for 127 yards, TD) for a quick passing touchdown, followed by a one-yard rushing score from the Hendrickson play-caller himself.

Dre Conley smuggled his way into the endzone from the goal line as time expired in the first half to lead 21-7 after one half of play. With first half prowess and a third quarter explosion that featured 21 points — two Barker touchdown rushes and one from Jackson — the game seemed in hand. Hendrickson rushed on its reserves and looked to run the clock out.

Despite a dismal first three quarters that saw the Mustangs give up more points in a game than they had all season (it was also the first time Sasche had trailed by that much in 2017), the offense was set on closing the gap.

Dean and Derrick Rose (10 receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns) caught touchdown passes from senior quarterback Jalen Mayden (25-38, 310 passing yards, 4 TDs, 85 rushing yards) in the fourth quarter to turn a 41-14 game into a one-possession match. However, three failed onside kick recoveries - including the final one during which kicker Payton Reyes attempted to dribble it and guard it like a soccer player - did the Mustangs in.

The Hendrickson Hawks will face 13-6A rival Cedar Ridge at either Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex or The Pfield, pending an upcoming coin flip. Cedar Ridge won the September 29th district matchup 43-27.