Rockwall will face 11-2 Prosper in the fourth round of the Class 6A Division I football playoffs on Saturday after overtaking Klein Oak 37-27 last week in Waco.
The quarterfinal game is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, the headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys.
The 11-2 Yellowjackets rallied from a 13-point deficit to outscore Klein Oak 16-0 in the pivotal fourth quarter at McLane Stadium, the home of the Baylor Bears. Klein Oak quarterback Montrell Bolton threw for touchdowns of 31 yards to Cameron Williams and 22 yards to Dwight McGlothern Jr. and also ran for a 9-yard touchdown. Gabriel Alvarez kicked field goals of 21 and 20 yards as the Panthers built a 27-14 lead in the third quarter.
But Rockwall quarterback Bradedyn Locke, who was 16-of-33 passing for 212 yards, fired a 35-yard touchdown pass to Brenden Bayes and then Jaxon Smith-Njigba ran for a 23-yard touchdown. Ethan Spearman’s kick put the Jackets up 28-27 with 9:05 remaining.
Corey Kelly gave the Jackets a big lift as he returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown with 8:50 remaining.
Spearman then sealed the win for Rockwall by booting a 22-yard field goal with 2:45 remaining.
Smith-Njigba, who caught seven passes for 95 yards, scored on a 44-yard pass from Locke for Rockwall’s first score in the first quarter. Smith-Njigba, who is headed to Ohio State, now has 93 catches for the season for 1,876 yards and 30 touchdowns. The 6-1, 195-pound senior has caught 280 passes for his career for 5,128 yards and 59 TDs.
Zach Henry ran for an 8-yard touchdown for Rockwall in the first half before leaving the game with an injury. Henry ran for 35 yards on six carries. He leads the Jackets with 1,287 yards rushing and 17 TDs on 184 carries.
Locke is 234-of-392 passing for 3,803 yards, 45 TDs and only eight interceptions.
J.J. Williams is Rockwall’s second-leading receiver with 45 catches for 593 yards and four TDs.
Trevor Munson has caught 23 for 304 yards and one TD.
Tight end Kade Klinkovsky has caught 16 passes for 179 yards and five TDs.
Prosper made the playoffs after tying for second with Dallas Jesuit in District 9-6A. The Eagles’ two losses have been to Allen (35-7) and Dallas Jesuit (41-14).
Prosper has won its three playoff games by scores of 24-0 over Wylie, 45-18 over Mesquite and 38-14 over The Woodlands.
Quarterback Jackson Berry, a 6-0, 190-pound junior, directs the Prosper offense. Berry has thrown for 2,784 yards and 33 touchdowns. He’s completed 66 percent of his passes (191 of 289) and has rushed for 302 yards and eight scores.
Hayden Metcalf is Prosper’s top receiver with 945 yards off 54 catches and 13 TDs.
Tyler Bailey’s caught 59 passes for 617 yards and 12 scores and Cameron Harpole has caught 32 for 448 yards and three TDs.
J.T. Lane leads the Prosper rushers with 1,293 yards and 16 TDs on 199 carries.
Bailey has rushed for 631 yards and four scores on 89 carries.
The Rockwall-Prosper winner advances to the semifinals to play either Southlake Carroll or Duncanville, which are playing at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the new McKinney ISD Stadium.