IRVING, Texas (KETK) – The Texas high school football playoffs are in full swing and this time 25 years ago, John Tyler went on to win a state football championship after an astonishing win against the number two ranked team in the state.
In 1994 Plano East had a commanding lead in the fourth quarter when a touchdown led the Lions to the best play and best game in Texas football history that won the 1995 Showstopper of the Year ESPY Award.
“The kick is up it is good and the roof has caved in on Plano East,” yelled radio announcers.
The path to state looked smooth for John Tyler at the start of the fourth quarter as they scored a field goal early in the fourth quarter to make the score 27-17. The Panthers took possession but the Lion recovered a fumble returning the ball 90 yards for a touchdown leading 34-17. On the next play, another fumble was returned 36 yards for another touchdown leading 41-17 with 3:03 remaining in the game.
However, the Panthers took possession scoring a touchdown bringing the score to 41-23 with 2:36 left on the clock. Plano East goes on to successfully execute three onside kicks and recovered the ball each time to driving downfield for a touchdown on each occasion. The Panthers took the lead 44-41 with 24 seconds remaining.
“You see the first one and you think oh that’s no big deal, they got an onside kick, you see the second one and it’s not serious we are up it’s late in the fourth quarter, that third one that’s when it really got real,” said Marcus Cain, John Tyler linebacker.
At this point, the Lions lost hope and felt like they were going home empty-handed.
“Now we are giving up points and we can’t recover the ball and they’re scoring and they’re scoring again and we can’t stop them
and all that’s going through your head is that we are about to blow this game,” said Marcus Cain, John Tyler linebacker.
On the last kickoff for Plano East, they kicked it deep where John Tyler had one last chance to recoup their lost hope.
“He raised his hand and he said he felt like it was the last time it would be over as well, but little did he know Cujo never quit never die,” said Cain.
Roderick Dunn caught the ball at his own three-yard line and ran 97 yards downfield for a lion touchdown which would give then a 48-44 victory.
“We had guys set up on blocks and the caravan just guided him down the sideline,” said Cain. “The rest is history, he goes into the tunnel takes off his helmet crowd goes crazy guys all over the field and John Tyler moves on to the fourth round of the playoffs.”
While the team is different every year, it is brotherhood that keeps them together makes it unique.
“Everyone went through their own personal problems that you gotta put to the side and when you put that helmet on nothing else matters,” said one player.
“It’s one of the best experiences I have ever experienced in my life and we’re still brothers to this day,” said another player.