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Physicality, competitiveness and disdain: Cedar Hill-DeSoto doesn’t disappoint as Longhorns win nail-biter 28-27

DeSoto scored as time expired, but did not convert when going for two.

Click here to view the box score. This story has been updated since it was first published.

CEDAR HILL — DeSoto and Cedar Hill didn’t wait for the referee to blow his whistle and signal the start of Thursday night’s game before colliding.

The tension and emotion between the two longtime rivals, meeting in the regular-season finale for the District 7-6A title, proved too strong to wait.

So they scuffled three times during pregame warmups, an hour before they were formally allowed to clash. First at midfield. Then by DeSoto’s sideline and into Cedar Hill’s warmup area. Then back at the 50-yard line.

The physicality, competitiveness and disdain for one another didn’t relent en route to Cedar Hill’s 28-27 win, even after coaches and referees separated players until the opening kickoff.

Quarterback Kaidon Salter scored Cedar Hill’s go-ahead score — a two-yard rushing touchdown on fourth-and-goal — with five minutes remaining, and the Longhorns defense denied DeSoto’s two-point conversion attempt after the Eagles scored a touchdown with two seconds remaining.

Cedar Hill extended its winning streak to eight games and clinched the 7-6A title for the second consecutive season.

“I loved this,” Salter said. “Everybody is out here, and they talk and they talk and they talk. It’s just fun.”

The rivalry between the two involves more than pride and year-long bragging rights for their programs and alumni. The matchup also often marks one of the most ferocious games among teams in the south-of-Dallas talent hotbed.

The teams’ previous results are proof.

They split their six meetings before Thursday with Cedar Hill holding a margin of victory of a combined six points in those outings.

Make that seven points after Cedar Hill’s latest triumph, this time a winner-take-district-title result.

That area-No. 7 Cedar Hill (8-2, 6-1 District 7-6A) was in position to finish undefeated in district play for the first time since 2009 didn’t seem likely in early September.

The Longhorns dropped their first two games to state-championship contenders Allen and Denton Guyer.

But non-district contests don’t count toward district-title and postseason contention, and Longhorns used the same combination of contributors to manage victory Thursday night as they did to reverse their September lull.

Running backs Corie Allen and Kevin Young each tallied a touchdown on Cedar Hill’s first two possessions to open a 14-0 lead. Salter finished with 115 total yards and three touchdowns, including 31-yard pass early in the third quarter to wide receiver Quin Bright, deep in the end zone.

Cedar Hill’s defense limited No. 8 DeSoto (8-2, 5-2) to two field goals on first-half red-zone drives and forced a fumble midway through the third quarter. But the Eagles, winners of seven straight games to start the season, didn’t cower.

It appeared Cedar Hill had won when it sacked quarterback Samari Collier in the final seconds. The Longhorns flooded the field with jubilation.

But referees ruled a DeSoto player went down with an injury with 12 seconds remaining, so after a 10 second runoff and a half-the-distance-to-goal penalty for Cedar Hill’s early celebration, Collier hit receiver L.J. Arnold for a 13-yard touchdown.

The Eagles’ two-point conversion pass fell incomplete.

“That’s what rivalry games are all about,” Cedar Hill coach Carlos Lynn said.

A second straight loss to Cedar Hill might sting for the Eagles, but Thursday’s results won’t impact playoff seeding or matchups next week.

DeSoto will be the district’s No. 1 seed in the Class 6A Div. I bracket and will face Skyline.

Cedar Hill — now ready to channel its intensity and passion into preparation for a playoff run and revenge for last year’s first-round upset — had already clinched the district’s No. 1 seed for Class 6A Div. II.

Twitter: @CallieCaplan

Highlights

Callie Caplan, Staff Writer. Callie Caplan covers the Dallas Mavericks, high school football and Olympic sports. She has also written for The Washington Post, USA Today and The Baltimore Sun and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2017.

callie.caplan@dallasnews.com @CallieCaplan

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