Eagles headed for Regional quarterfinal showdown

By Rick Bailey
For the Prosper Press
Prosper's Ryan Medeiros celebrates with the trophy following a game against V.R. Eaton High School on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Prosper won the game 27-17 to take the 6A, Division 2 Regional Semifinal Championship. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Eagles continue to roll through Class 6A-DII playoffs with a 27-17 win over V.R. Eaton Eagles

Prosper - The Prosper Eagles (8-3) took another step forward in the UIL Class 6A-II playoffs on Saturday afternoon as they defeated the V.R. Eaton Eagles (9-4) 27-17 at Arlington Globe Life Stadium. They will face district counterpart Denton Guyer in next week’s Regional quarterfinal showdown. 

The two teams faced each other earlier in the season in a district game on October 30 that saw the Prosper Eagles lose a squeaker 24-23. Guyer stormed back in the final quarter scoring 17 points and then fought off the Eagles in the final series of the game to win after Prosper had scored a last-effort touchdown. 

Prosper exchanged blows with their counterpart over the first three series, but took the ball 71 yards on 10 plays to jump out to a 7-0 lead at the two minute mark of the opening quarter. The scoring strike was a 20 yard scoring effort from Senior quarterback Jackson Berry to senior wideout Cameron Harpole. The two have linked up many times in the 2020 playoffs. 

V.R. Eaton Eagles took the next series that began at the end of the first quarter and used the running attack of quarterback Braden St Ama and Issac Jones to move down the field, but the effort stalled out. Eagles kicker, Colby Sessum showed his strong leg with a 48 yard field goal effort that had plenty of room to spare. That left the score at 7-3.

Tyler Bailey pulled some similar special teams efforts for the Eagles when he returned the V.R. Eaton kickoff 50 yards to midfield. Prosper’s offense stalled at that point, but they weren’t going to be denied to put up points before the half. 

Prosper's Jacob Devenny (21) carries the ball as Andrew Perkins (30) and Jason Jones (57) close in during a game against V.R. Eaton High School on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Prosper won the game 27-17 to take the 6A, Division 2 Regional Semifinal Championship. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Jackson Berry capped a 50 yard drive with a seven yard touchdown scamper to keep his streak alive of multiple touchdowns in the 2020 playoffs. The PAT attempt was blocked and left the score 13-3 at the halftime break. 

The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter and went into the final stanza at 20-10 in favor of Prosper. Tyler Bailey had two key interceptions for the Eagles during the second half to help stifle the V.R. Eaton comeback effort. The stout Prosper held their opponent to four of 12 third down conversion attempts on the day.

 Prosper opened the third quarter with a five play 75 yard drive that was capped by a seven yard touchdown pass from Jackson Berry to Cameron Harpole, their second of the day. This score with nine minutes left in the third quarter. 

V.R. Eaton cut the lead to 20-10 on a 71 yard touchdown pass from Braden St. Ama to Jahbez Hawkins with 4:28 left in the third period. 

After holding V.R. Eaton and their quarterback St Ama at bay and getting an early final period touchdown to put them up 20-10 the Eagles defense actually bent, but didn’t break. 

Prosper quarterback Jackson Berry pushes into the endzone to score a touchdown during a game against V.R. Eaton High School on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Prosper won the game 27-17 to take the 6A, Division 2 Regional Semifinal Championship. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

When Eaton was faced with a third and 20 situation at their own one, the Eagles  Tyler Bailey picked off a pass and returned it to the V.R. Eaton one yard line. Jackson Berry carried the ball over on the next play for his second running score of the game. Berry accounted for all four of the Eagle touchdowns, two by air and two on foot. 

Once again the Prosper defense stepped up when Tyler Bailey got a second interception on the day. The Eagles had three interceptions in the game, Ryan Medeiros recorded one and also had five sacks during the contest. 

Eaton scored with 4:18 left in the game on quarterback Braden St. Alma’s one yard run after a short drive on punt exchanges and the score was sitting at 27-17. With a 10 point lead the Prosper defense was called back into action. 

St. Ama, the senior quarterback for the Eaton Eagles led the team with 164 yards passing on 12 of 23 attempts and one touchdown. He was also the team’s leading ground gainer with 44 yards on 23 attempts and one touchdown. 

One final Prosper punt after they ran some clock gave Eaton the ball at their own seven yard line and 93 yards from a touchdown. At this point it was a two possession game either way. 

Prosper players celebrate following a game against V.R. Eaton High School on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Prosper won the game 27-17 to take the 6A, Division 2 Regional Semifinal Championship. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Prosper’s defense once again came to the rescue and made a final stop of the V.R. Eaton offense. Jackson Berry and his Prosper Eagles lined up in victory formation to run out the clock and get themselves to the next step of the UIL playoff grid. 

Offensively Jackson Berry (Southern Utah commit) had a hand in all four Eagle scores. Two touchdown passes to Cameron Harpole (San Diego State commit) and two touchdown runs. Prosper outgained V.R. Eaton 278-214 in total yards in what was actually a defensive slugout. 

Berry passed for 152 yards on 15-17 attempts and rushed for 40 yards on 11 carries. Harpole caught seven passes for 72 yards and two scores to lead Prosper’s receivers. 

The Prosper defense played a stellar game and proved that they can bring a toughness and physicality to be reckoned with for the rest of the UIL Class 6A-II playoffs. The Eagles entered the playoffs with great expectations and have proven week after week that they can bring their “A Game”. 

The Regional quarterfinal matchup against Denton Guyer will provide the Eagles a shot at a little revenge for the earlier season “heartbreaker” and solidify the 2020 playoff run by this strong Prosper squad.