Prosper turns potential into reality in 2020 playoff run

By Rick Bailey
For the Prosper Press
Prosper head coach Brandon Schmidt directs players during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Eagles advances to Regionals with 28-7 victory

Prosper - The Prosper Eagles (7-3) took another step forward in the UIL Class 6A-II playoffs on Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Arlington Bowie Volunteers (8-2) 28-7 at Grapevine’s Mustang-Panther Stadium. 

Prosper was facing Arlington Bowie Volunteers (8-1) from District 8-6A. Bowie defeated Richardson Pearce 62-35 to advance to the Area round of the Class 6A-II playoffs. The two teams locked horns on Saturday, December 19. According to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Prosper was a 10 point favorite over the Bowie Volunteers.

Prosper quarterback Jackson Berry (5) looks for a hole in the defense during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

After falling behind 7-0 on the opening drive of the game when the Bowie Volunteers scored to cap a 70 yard drive the Eagles took control of the contest. With 11:50 left in the second quarter on a 15 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jackson Berry to senior wideout Cameron Harpole. A missed PAT kick left the score at 7-6 which remained that way until halftime. 

It took just one possession of the second half for Prosper to gain the lead that they would never give up. Jackson Berry carried the ball in for the Eagles touchdown to make the score 12-7 when the PAT pass attempt failed. 

Prosper's Jasper Miller (8) runs away from Chris Aiken (14) during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Prosper scored twice more before the end of the third period making the score 26-7. Berry got another touchdown run during the 20 point barrage by the Eagles. The 20 point third quarter was the most scored by Prosper in one quarter in the playoffs. 

After Bowie drove the length of the field they were turned away by the Eagles defense in a goal line stand. Prosper drove to just past midfield and punted to the Volunteers and in an attempt to return it from the end zone the Eagles defense tackled him for a safety making the final score 28-7.

The Area round win makes two impressive wins in the UIL Class 6A-II playoffs for Prosper. The Eagles are attempting to better their 2019 playoff run which ended in the Regional finals. 

Prosper's Jasper Miller (8) makes a touchdown reception during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Opening round playoff recap - 

The Prosper Eagles brought their “A Game” to the stadium when they opened the 2020 UIL Class 6A-II playoffs on Saturday, December 12 in the Bi-District round with a 38-19 win against Flower Mound Marcus. Marcus, the No. 4 team in the Class 6A-II state rankings heading into the contest and played without star quarterback Garrett Nussmeier, who was injured the previous week and was a game time scratch. 

Nussmeier’s replacement was junior Jaxxon Warren, who finished with 231 yards passing and two touchdowns to J. Michael Sturdivant and Christian Espinoza in the first half of the contest. Marcus managed just one more score in the final quarter of the game, but was well out of contention when it happened.

Prosper's Aidan Siano (44) reaches for Steven Szipocs (27) during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

When everyone talked about the Prosper Eagles at the end of district play they discussed a 5-3 season/3-3 district team who had played to within one point of five points of two of the highest ranked teams in Class 6A. Losing 24-23 to Denton Guyer and 35-31 to Allen the Eagles were looked at as the team with so much “potential”.

A great example of the Prosper squad playing at the level they are very capable of was the showcase effort that featured quarterback Jackson Berry’s five total touchdowns. Three of Berry’s touchdown passes went to senior Cameron Harpole. The Eagle wideout finished with five catches for 130 yards while Tyler Bailey caught three passes for 42 yards and Berry’s other touchdown toss. 

Prosper's Cameron Harpole (9) is hit by Kedarion Turner (17) during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

The Prosper quarterback, Jackson Berry ended the day with 18 completions for 232 yards and rushed the ball 12 times for 60 yards and one touchdown. Berry definitely lived up to his potential for the afternoon while he was leading the Eagles to the Area round and two games from equaling the Eagles 2019 effort that got them to the Regional Finals. 

According to the Eagles players and staff the goal of exceeding their efforts from last  year has been a year long goal. However, they made it perfectly clear that they are preparing, planning and focusing on “one game at a time”. 

Prosper's Leyton White (24) hits quarterback Chris aiken (14) during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Prosper (7-3) is now getting ready to face the Hazlet Eaton Eagles (9-3) next in the Regionals. Hazlet Eaton defeated San Antonio Central 40-16 in the Area round of the playoffs. There will be a clash of the Eagles at Globe Life Park on Dec. 26 at 11 a.m. 

Prosper's Aeden Combest (99) closes in on quarterback Chris Aiken (14) during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)
Prosper quarterback Jackson Berry (5) gets away from Jackson Howard (13) during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)
Prosper's Martez Harris (35) closes in on quarterback Chris Aiken (14) during a playoff game against Arlington Bowie on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at Panther-Mustang Stadium in Grapevine. Prosper won the game 28-7 to become the 6A Division II Region 1 Area Champions. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)