Last-second TD sends Kell to Round 2
by Maurice Dixon
MDJ Sports Writer
November 17, 2012 01:52 AM | 4050 views | 4 4 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SW DeKalb at Kell

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MARIETTA — Down one point with 33 seconds to go, Kell quarterback Matthew McGuigan found Julian Burris in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown, resulting in a thrilling 19-14 victory over Southwest DeKalb in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs at Cobb Energy/Corky Kell Stadium on Friday night.

“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.”
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true longhorn parent
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November 20, 2012
Before the game all we heard was Southwest Dekalb is a great team, and their losses were to great teams(Tucker, MLK, Stephenson) which are state contenders also. Now you want to down play the greatness of the teams that they loss to and make a big deal that their record was 7-3. Yes their loss was to great teams and I don't know what school you are from, but evidently you are from a team that we beat previously. If you had been at the game, you would have noticed that our win could have been better, but we had a lot of mistakes and did not use our running game. Southwest Dekalb was, and is a great team and yes their record was 7-3 but they had losses to big teams. I apologize for beating your team with our great Coach, and where ever we end up in the playoffs....we "evidently" got farther than your team and preented your team from winning that awesome title of REGION CHAMPIONSHIP, because championship is exactly what it says CHAMPIONSHIP. Please stop trying to pretend that you are a Longhorn parent, because Longhorn parents don't do it like that.
Longhorn parent
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November 17, 2012
Dear Coach Cook, your quote stating "they are the best 4 seed in history", is a bit of a stretch. Maybe your the softest 1 seed in history. So congratulations for beating a 7-3 team at home, barely. Winning is winning and the team deserves credit. However, now it's time to prove your program hasn't gone as far as you can take it. Region championships are immaterial fools gold. Prove your beyond a second round coach, or at least a "lucky second round coach". Winning the championship is all that matters so your choices, philsophy, and system should now be validated. Right?
to moron above
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November 18, 2012
You're an idiot. How can you say region championships mean nothing. Been a part of teams that finished as runner up and made several deep runs in the playoffs during my coaching career. Team I'm most proud of is a region championship team from a few years back. Means you were the best in your region all year long. State playoffs are as much about the draw you get in the bracket as anything. Ask the lassiter people who got to the semis as a 4 seed last year, but got bounced as 1 this year. The matchups you draw play a huge role, but a region championship says you found a way all season long.
clem DeMatto
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November 19, 2012
AQ real Longhorn parent,

When I read your statement yesterday, I was to put it mildly angered. I decided to sleep on on it and was pleased to see someone else shares my opinion. My son actually plays for Kell and I have seen the hard work both players and coaches put into the season. This is only the second year in school history that Kell has won the region and both have been under Coach Cook. I am at the stadium every Sunday and see all of the coaches cars there. They are going over film to prepare for the next game. They spend many thankless hours in preparation for the next game. This season has already been a big success no matter what the future brings. My son is a freshman playing varsity and I only hope Coach Cook decides to stay until he graduates. I do not even believe you are a Longhorn parent and if you are, your son is not on the football team. I wish I knew who you are so I could shake your hand and look you in the eye and tell you your are a Know nothing idiot to your face. We have a big gme ahead of us this week and do not need distractions like yours. I can only hope none of the players have read your ignorant statement. Coach Cook has done and is doing a great job and we are lucky to have him. I really do not think you are a longhorn parent and if you are, maybe you should transfer to another school. If you are a true longhorn parent, you should know who I am and I too think you are an idiot!!!
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