Pictured Above: WR Ife Opere, Lone Star High School. Photo Credit: Diaz Design and Photgraphy
5A Division II Region 2 Finals
Lone Star (12-2) VS Mansfield Legacy (12-2)—20-24
One of the main reasons we love sports is that things don’t always play out as they should. Hey, if it was predictable where is the fun in that? The way seasons and the playoffs play out is what keeps us coming back for more—better teams lose, underdogs triumph and, well, you just never know.
Unfortunately, for the Lone Star Rangers during last Saturday’s Regional Semifinal, it was the Broncos of Mansfield Legacy that left SMU’s Ford Stadium as the triumphant underdog-turned-victor.
They continued the early-scoring trend as they drew first blood in the first quarter, on a one-yard run by Jalen Catalon (49 yds rushing, TD). Yet despite the early score, the Rangers defense did a great job of containing the speedy dual-threat and two-way star, as Catalon had difficulty connecting on passes throughout the game, as he found a receiver just twice in spite of 12 passing attempts.
Normally for the Broncos, when Catalon is contained as he was against Lone Star, the speedy RB Grant Johnson (1,778 yds, 22 TDs) is there to lead the offense, but Johnson, a game-time decision (hamstring) was not playing, and his backup, Isaiah Jones (151 yds, TD) took full advantage of the rare starting opportunity.
Lone Star, on the other hand, despite trailing early, still had the look of a team that would figure things out soon enough. When M.J. Rivers (273 yds, 2TDs 2INTs) connected to Ife Opere for a fourth quarter score that gave the Rangers their first lead of the game, it appeared as though they had snapped out of there funk with a flourish.
But that lead wouldn’t last long as Catalon connected on just his second pass of the game to WR Randy Wright (66 yds, TD) on a game-changing play that would put Mansfield Legacy ahead for good.
The Rangers didn’t give up without a fight, however, as a late game drive with under :30 seconds remaining in regulation could have given Lone Star the lead and possibly the win, but the Broncos defense tightened the screws, much like Denton Ryan did as they snuffed out a late rally to hand the Rangers what was their first loss of 2017.
The Lone Star Rangers‘ offense was led by Rivers (342 total yards, 2 total TDs), who out-produced the Broncos offense (285 total yards) all by himself, as well as by WR Marvin Mims (127 yds, TD).
Friends, family and fans of the Lone Star Rangers undoubtedly are disappointed that their favorite team has played their final game of the season. You definitely want to close out your year with a win.
But in no way, shape or form should disappointment outweigh the pride that Lifestyle Frisco, Frisco ISD and the community as a whole feel for all of the wonderful accomplishments set forth in 2017 by the Lone Star Rangers. Thanks for a ton of great memories, and here’s looking forward to more next season!
Mansfield Legacy will now advance to the State Semifinals, where they will take on the Aledo Bearcats for a possible berth in the 2017 UIL District II State Championship game.