They won what many are calling the Texas high school football game of the year.
After outlasting former state champion Allen 60-59 in a Class 6A area thrillfest at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the 10-2 Rockwall Yellowjackets will turn their attention on the 10-2 Klein Oak Panthers.
The two teams will meet in another spacious football facility: McLane Stadium, the home of the Baylor Bears.
The opening kickoff for the regional playoff game is at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Jackets claimed one of their biggest victories in school history when they outscored five-time state champion Allen in an offensive shootout. The two teams combined for 16 touchdowns, two field goals and nearly 1,200 yards of total offense.
But the Jackets needed a special play to pull off the victory as wide receiver Caden Marshall took a pitch from quarterback Braedyn Locke and then lofted a pass to a tightly-guarded J.J. Williams in the end zone for the two-point conversion with 1:23 remaining. That conversion gave the Jackets the victory.
Ohio State commit Jaxon Smith-Njigba scored six touchdowns to lead Rockwall. Smith-Njigba caught 15 passes for 258 yards and five touchdowns and also ran for a 1-yard touchdown. He caught touchdown passes of 5, 7, 8, 48 and 62 yards off the arm of Locke, who was 31-of-43 passing for 423 yards. A couple of his catches were of the spectacular variety, made with one hand in a crowded spot in the end zone.
Smith-Njigba now has 86 receptions for the season for 1,781 yards and 29 touchdowns though he missed two games with injuries. The 6-1, 195-pounder ranks among the all-time leading receivers in state history with 273 receptions for 5,033 yards and 58 TDs. He is averaging 18.4 yards per reception for his career and 119.8 yards receiving per game.
Locke, who also passed for a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kade Klinkovskky, ranks among the top passers in the state though he’s just a sophomore. Locke has thrown for 3,591 yards and 44 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. He’s completed 218 of 359 attempts.
Rockwall also rushed for 159 yards against Allen, including a team-high 137 yards on 28 carries by Zach Henry. Henry scored on a 9-yard run. Henry has now rushed this season for 1,252 yards and 16 TDs on 178 carries.
Williams finished the game with nine catches for 64 yards. Also with catches were Trevor Munson (3-45), Klinkovsky (3-12) and Marshall (2-46).
Allen quarterback Raylen Sharpe kept the Eagles close with 571 total yards of offense. Sharpe was 15-of-28 passing for 459 yards and five touchdowns and ran for a team-high 112 yards and a score on 24 carries. His touchdown passes went for 85 and 1 yard to Jordan Johnson, 67 and 56 yards to Derrion Sherfield and 56 yards to Blaine Green.
Klein Oak finished second to Klein Collins in District 15-6A with a 6-2 record. The Panthers have won their playoff games by scores of 47-17 over Houston MacArthur and 41-7 over Cypress Ranch.
The Panthers are balanced on offense, averaging 186 yards rushing and 176 passing per game.
Oak quarterback Montrell Bolton, a 6-2, 205-pound senior, is 114-of-209 passing for 1,808 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. Bolton has rushed for 514 yards and six TDs on 95 carries.
Jamal Stephens, a 5-8, 170-pound senior running back, leads the Panthers with 534 yards rushing and eight TDs on 71 carries.
Panther wide receiver Dwight McGlothern Jr. has caught a team-high 64 passes for 1,242 yards and 17 touchdowns and has intercepted four passes on defense.
The Rockwall-Klein Oak winner plays either Prosper or The Woodlands next week in the quarterfinals.