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(Courtesy MISD Athletics)

No. 2 Midlothian Heritage leans on defense in 5A DII area championship win against Marshall

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

ATHENS — A heroic second-half effort by the Midlothian Heritage Jaguar defense was the difference in Friday night’s 5A Division II area championship.

No. 2 (12-0) Midlothian Heritage trailed 14-3 at halftime, having gained just 55 total yards of offense to the 214 of the (6-6) Marshall Mavericks. The script then completely flipped in the second half for a 21-14 Jaguar victory at Bruce Field in Athens. 

The Jaguar defense shut out the Mavericks over the final 24-and-a-half minutes. The last second and final Marshall score came on a 9-play, 8-yard drive that ended in a 3-yard Landen Jones run for a 14-3 Maverick lead.

The Maverick offense then had six second-half possessions — with five going for 9 yards or fewer. The Jaguars, meanwhile, scored on four of their five second-half possessions.

Midlothian Heritage placekicker Jordan Soto converted on all three field goal attempts on the evening — from 32, 26 and 26 yards. His first capped 12-play, 70-yard drive and put the Jaguars on the board, 7-3, with 9:46 to play in the second quarter.

Soto later connected twice in the fourth quarter from 26 yards with 4:41 and 46 yards with 1:58 to play in the fourth quarter, respectively. 

The senior is now 12-of-16 on field goal attempts this season. 

Whatever second-year head coach Eric Edwards said at halftime worked. 

The Jaguars needed just two possessions and 15 offensive plays (11 runs) to take a 15-14 lead with 1:57 to play in the third quarter.

The Mavericks received the opening kickoff of the second half. The Marshall offense was quickly stuffed on a 4th-and-1 rushing attempt for a turnover on down at its own 34-yard line. The momentum shift was felt throughout the stadium.

The Jaguar faithful celebrated five plays later. After four consecutive runs, quarterback Carter Rutenbar (9-19, 115) connected with Ryan Satterwhite (2-31) for a 9-yard touchdown with 7:52 to play in the third quarter.

The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, just as it would be with the Jaguars struck again on their ensuing drive after a Marshall punt.

Rutenbar and Sattwerwhite connected for a 22-yard gain to highlight the 10-play, 61-yard drive. The junior quarterback capped the possession with a 6-yard touchdown run for a 15-14 Midlothian Heritage lead with 1:57 left on the third-quarter clock.

The Jaguar defense and Soto eventually sealed the 21-14 5A DII area championship.

The 207 total yards gained by the Jaguars were the second-fewest for the offense all season. 

The season-low of 206 total yards came in a 38-7 district victory against Burleson on Sept. 14. The Jaguars also gained just 217 total yards in a 56-13 win against Corsicana on Oct. 20. The starting offense was held out of both of those second halves.

In all other games other than against Arlington Seguin, the Jaguars either rushed or threw for more than 207 yards. The offense still combined for 315 yards in the 21-14 win against the Seguin Cougars on Oct. 26. 

According to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, Midlothian Heritage entered Friday’s tilt as a 19-point favorite with an 87.3% chance of winning. 

UP NEXT

Midlothian Heritage will face the winner of (9-2) No. 4 South Oak Cliff or (10-1) No. 10 Melissa. Those two will kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.

DCTF has the Golden Bears as 3-point favorites with a 61.9% chance of winning.

The date, time and location of the Jaguars’ 5A DII Region II semifinal are TBD. 

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Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

tsmith@elliscosports.com

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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