HIGHLAND — The hosting Highland Rebels (12-0) stunned Dollarway (10-2) by jumping out to a 27-6 halftime lead and then held on to turn back a furious Cardinal rally in a 34-24 Class 4A state playoff game here Friday night.
Dollarway tied the score at 6-6 in the first quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Jeremiah Young. Highland grabbed the lead for good with a 34-yard return of a Cardinal fumble early in the second period. A conversion kick put the Rebels up by 13-6.
Highland notched its other first-half touchdowns on a 7-yard run and a 45-yard pass.
Dollarway initiated its rally early in the third period when Xavier Long scored a touchdown on a 1-yard sneak, cutting Highland’s lead to 27-12. But the Rebels bounced back with a 60-yard touchdown pass and conversion boot for a 34-12 lead.
The Cardinals registered their remaining points in the third quarter. Joshua Liddell scored a touchdown on a 10-yard run and Young then ran 2 yards for a touchdown.
Liddell was Dollarway’s leading rusher with 83 yards.
“Our guys fought back real hard in the second half,” said Dollarway coach Cortez Lee. “We got in a hole in the first half, but I like the way we responded. I’m proud of our guys.”