Its playoff debut on Friday wasn’t as much about Hillcrest losing to Terrell as it was about Hillcrest losing to itself.
The Panthers were haunted by turnovers and penalties during a 30-22 defeat against the Tigers in the Class 5A Division II bi-district round in Garland.
Hillcrest held the Tigers in check for much of the night, but five miscues led to a 30-7 deficit that proved too much to overcome, despite a fourth-quarter rally.
Both teams were back in the playoffs after an extended absence, and the Panthers (9-2) jumped on top when Makell Haley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
But Terrell scored the next 30 points despite only gaining 170 yards of total offense and 10 first downs. Dawonya Tucker was the workhorse for the Tigers (8-3) with 144 yards rushing.
Hillcrest trimmed the deficit to eight points with a pair of fourth-quarter scores. Arico Evans threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Diego Cera, and later ran for a 27-yard touchdown. But it wasn’t enough to send the Panthers to their first postseason win since 2006.
Other playoff results this week:
Jesuit 59, Richardson Pearce 7
The Rangers (8-3) won their playoff opener for the third straight year by taking a 52-7 halftime lead against the overmatched Mustangs (5-6). Bo Schneider threw four touchdown passes, including two to Charlie Eikenberg, while Matt Slovak and Max Loughborough added two rushing scores apiece for Jesuit. The Pearce offense completed just 12 of 35 passes and punted 11 times.
Parish Episcopal 54, Victoria St. Joseph 6
This TAPPS mismatch resulted in a 47-0 halftime lead for the Panthers (10-1), as Tom Stewart threw touchdown passes on the first four possessions for Parish. Three of those went to William LeMasters, while Xavier Suggs scored on both a reception and an interception return. The Flyers (2-9) didn’t complete a pass in the game, which resulted in the eighth consecutive win for Parish.
Trinity Christian 70, Austin St. Michael’s 35
Nahshon Ellerbe ran for 219 yards and four scores, caught two touchdown passes, and returned a kick for a score as the Trojans (6-5) continued their late-season offensive surge in the first round of the TAPPS playoffs. Christian Hutzler passed for 390 yards and five touchdowns for TCA, which racked up 658 total yards against the Crusaders (5-6) and had a season-high point total.