“We were on the ropes numerous times then got off the ropes and fought back — buckled their knees,” Kell coach Derek Cook said. “That was an ESPN classic right there. Great play at the end by McGuigan and the O-line. Julian Burris, who is coming off torn meniscus surgery — this is his first game back. A great play right there. An unbelievable play. That will go down in Kell football history hopefully.”
As a result of their eighth straight win, the Longhorns (10-1) will host Gainesville next week.
After McGuigan had a tipped pass intercepted, which Southwest DeKalb converted into seven points for a 14-13 lead with 7:58 remaining, and Kell having to punt away its ensuing possession, the Longhorns appeared on the verge of falling into a deeper hole.
But the defense forced a three-and-out and the offense got the ball back with 3:05 to go at its own 22.
On the third play of the drive, Khalil Bell was able to break free for 19 yards down the sideline to Southwest DeKalb’s 49. Then, two plays later and with 1:06 left, the senior running back ran for five yards on third down, placing the ball at the 37.
Following an incompletion and an offsides penalty against the Panthers, McGuigan took the snap on third-and-5 and fired the ball to Burris, who made the catch while falling to his back in the middle of the end zone for a 19-14 score with 25 seconds remaining.
“We actually had a different receiver in mind,” Cook said. “McGuigan saw him deep in the end zone, threw it up and Burris made a play. That’s playoff football. That is an amazing play.”
The Panthers started their drive at their own 12-yard line and eventually got to their 33, but Marquise Gilmore was stopped after a 3-yard gain on the game’s final play.
“I’ve got to give Southwest DeKalb all the credit in the world,” Cook said. “They have some warriors over there. They fought and hit and played. They are a great football team. They are the best No. 4 seed in the history of football.”