ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cedar Hill quarterback Driphus Jackson welled up with emotion after the Longhorns' 42-41 win over J.W. Walsh and the Denton Guyer Wildcats in game three of the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic on Monday at Cowboys Stadium.
Part of the emotion came from the obvious joy of winning by a made extra-point attempt in overtime after Guyer's extra point try was blocked on the Wildcats' overtime score. Part of Jackson’s emotion came from winning on his birthday. But the real emotion came from winning for the memory of a fallen friend.
Before the season began, Jackson changed his number to six to honor his a friend who was killed in a car accident over the summer. With that number on his chest, Jackson said he felt his friend was there, carrying him and his team to victory.
“Sporting this number, number 6, for my friend Deion made it probably one of my most emotional games because I knew he was with me,” Jackson said. “I changed my number this year and probably for the rest of my life just because of him. He was one of the most magnificent people I’ve ever been around in my life. ”
Jackson honored the memory of his friend superbly, completing 17-of-25 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns. His longest play of the night set up the game-tying score in the last minutes of the fourth as he hit Lovett Gibson on a 59-yard pass that would end on the Guyer 3-yard line.
The Longhorns' quarterback got the job done on the ground as well, leading the team with 72 yards on nine carries.
“Driphus Jackson has proven that he’s not just an athlete, he’s a quarterback,” Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire said.
Guyer’s signal caller, Walsh, also had a huge night, rushing for 214 yards and five touchdowns on 21 carries. He also completed 8-of-16 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown.
“You’ve got two of the best quarterbacks in the state of Texas, and both of them refused to lose. It was one of those deals with whoever had the ball last, and we got it done,” McGuire said.
Cedar Hill had the ball last in the overtime period after Walsh sprinted into the end zone from 9 yards out, putting the Wildcats up by six. However, the Longhorns got a hand on the extra point try.
“We were blessed enough to get a hand on that kick and came out and we just needed a chance,” McGuire said.
That gave No. 6 for Cedar Hill the chance to shine. Jackson began the drive with a 17-yard rush. Andre Anderson ended it with a 9-yard end around that tied the score. Cedar Hill kicker Ryan Sparkman won it with the extra point.
Despite the loss, Guyer moved the ball for 443 total yards. Cedar Hill finished with 423 total yards.
Cedar Hill moves up to 1-1 on the season after dropping another shootout against Allen last weekend at the Tom Landry Classic. Denton Guyer falls to 1-1.