Prosper drops heartbreaker 30-24 to Denton Guyer

By Rick Bailey
For the Prosper Press

UIL Class 6A-II Regional finals game ends after 3 overtimes

Prosper's Jasper Miller (8) tries to stay inbounds during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

McKinney ISD Stadium - The Prosper Eagles (8-4) and Denton Guyer Wildcats (11-2) surely left it all on the field at McKinney ISD Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the UIL Class 6A-II Regional finals. The two teams battled through regulation and three overtimes before Denton Guyer got the game winning score on the last play of the game on a five yard run by their quarterback Eli Stowers making the final score 30-24.

It was a daylong defensive battle between the two playoff squads featuring tough play in the trenches on both sides of the ball. On Denton Guyer’s first possession of the day Tyler Bailey picked off Eli Stowers and it looked like Prosper might be off and running early in the contest. However, the Eagles were forced to punt to ball back to the Wildcats.

Prosper kicker Brad Larson (36) has an overtime field goal attempt blocked by Cooper Lanz (7) during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Prosper got on the board as they drove to the ball inside the 10 before being forced to settle for a 23 yard Brad Larson field goal. Guyer then answered back with a quick drive early in the second period with chunk runs by Byron Phillips, Ty Aldridge and their quarterback Eli Sowers. Senior Michael Mayfield booted a 25 yard field goal to knot the score with 11:16 left in the half. 

Prosper’s offense got a little momentum started by Jacob Devenny’s 55 yard gallop, but then ran into problems in the red zone as Marquain Pope picked off Jackson Berry’s pass attempt into the end zone as he tried to connect with Cameron Harpole. The Eagles returned the favor as they picked off an Eli Stower aerial with less than two minutes left in the half. 

Prosper's Cameron Harpole (9) runs after a reception during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Prosper’s ensuing drive went deep into Guyer territory and ended with 22 seconds on the clock when Jaden Fuggett intercepted another Berry attempt in the endzone. The two teams were knotted up 3-3 at the intermission. 

Guyer took its first lead of the game on a four play 70 yard drive that consisted of two nice passes from Eli Stowers to Jace Wilson. The first was a big play for 50 yards and then a 15 yard scoring strike. Mayfield added the PAT to make the score 10-3 with less than three minutes left in the third period. 

Prosper's Cameron Harpole (9) runs after a reception during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Prosper’s defense made a big stop at the end of the third quarter and took over driving to the Guyer four yard line before turning the ball over on downs with eight minutes left in the game. The Eagles defense once again made a big stop at midfield when they stopped the Wildcats on downs and took possession with about four minutes left in the game. Jackson Berry connected with Noah Billings on a 35 yard pass down to the Guyer 10 yard line. Senior quarterback Berry did some of the work with his legs and then Tyler Bailey used his sprinter’s speed to sweep outside for a 4 yard score with 3:30 left in the game. Brad Larson kicked the PAT to tie the score at 10-10. 

Another effort by the Prosper defense turned the Wildcats back at midfield on downs and set up what could have been a last drive for the win for the Eagles, but Guyer’s defense returned the favor and forced a punt after three attempts by the Eagles.

Prosper's Herman Lee (22) reaches for quarterback Jaden Powell (3) during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

The first overtime period started with Prosper with the football and aided by a double penalty for defensive holding and unsportsmanlike conduct the Eagles had the ball on the seven yard line. Jackson Berry ran for the touchdown and Brad Larson kicked the PAT. Eagles were up 17-10. 

It took Denton Guyer just four plays to get themselves back in the contest when their quarterback Eli Stowers scampered in on a third down from 13 yards out. Mayfield booted the PAT and the score went back to 17-17. 

Prosper quarterback Jackson Berry (5) carries the ball during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Guyer had the ball first in the second overtime and it took just two plays. Stowers found Jace Wilson for 10 yards on a pass and then did the rest himself on a 15 yard touchdown run. Advantage to the Wildcats at 24-17 at this point. 

After running for 12 yards and hitting Cameron Harpole for 7 yards Jackson Berry had the Eagles ready to score. Berry found Tyler Bailey on another connection, but a penalty set the ball back to the 8 yard line and Prosper faced fourth down. The Berry to Harpole connection provided the Eagles what they needed on an eight yard score. With Larson’s PAT the score was knotted at 24-24. 

Prosper's Jasper Miller (8) scores a touchdown during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Prosper started the third overtime session, but ran into a tough Denton Guyer defense who stifled the Eagles for no points. The Wildcat defense held off the Eagles on their field goal attempt in the third stanza of overtime. 

Guyer took over with 25 yards standing between them and a Semifinal match and their senior quarterback did all the work himself. In two consecutive runs of 20 and five yards Eli Stowers got the victory for the Wildcats. The final was 30-24. 

Prosper’s senior signal caller Jackson Berry finished the day 22 of 38 passing for 163 yards against the tough Guyer defense. Cameron Harpole was the recipient of the lone touchdown pass for Prosper, but two costly interceptions in the end zone proved to be the achilles heel. 

Prosper's Noah Billings (11) carries the ball during a 6A Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal game against Denton Guyer on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Guyer won the game 30-24 after three overtimes. (Photo by Kevin Bartram/buzzphotos.com)

Denton Guyer (11-2) will face Cedar Hill (11-1) in the Semifinal Round of the UIL Class 6A-II playoffs. Cedar Hill was a 27-24 winner over Rockwall-Heath (11-3) in the Regional final round on Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The two teams will match up again at McKinney ISD Stadium on Saturday, January 9 at 1 pm.

This is Denton Guyer’s opportunity to come back from last season’s disappointment after losing to Austin Westlake in the 2019 championship. The Wildcats last state championship was in 2013 when they were still playing in Class 4A.