It was his grandson, quarterback John Stephen Jones, who rallied Highland Park to a 53-49 victory against Manvel in the UIL Class 5A Division I finale at AT&T Stadium -- the home of the Cowboys. Jones’ heroics gave Highland Park back-to-back state titles, and he became the first quarterback to throw for more than 500 yards in a Texas state title game, ESPN reported.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder passed for 564 yards and four touchdowns, rallying Highland Park from a 10-point deficit with three minutes to play. Jones, who was 37-for-58, completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Cade Saustad -- his 61st of the season -- with 34 seconds left. Jones also completed a 28-yard pass on fourth-and-15 to keep the drive alive, ESPN reported.
Amazing! John Stephen Jones 16-yard TD pass to Cade Saustad gives Highland Park 53-49 lead over Manvel with 34 seconds left pic.twitter.com/LmkGMEUYT4
Highland Park (15-1), the winningest team in state history with 816 victories, won back-to-back state titles for the first time and its fifth overall, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The Scots also won titles in 1945 (shared with Waco), 1957, 2005 and 2016.
“We beat some great football teams to get here, and this was probably the best one tonight,” Highland Park coach Randy Allen told the Morning News. “John Stephen is a great competitor, and he kept telling everybody on the bench that we've just got to keep coming back.”
Highland Park trailed 49-39 with three minutes to play.
“It shows we have no quit. We'll never count ourselves out,” Jones told the Morning News. “It's really special.”
Highland Park had to survive a late scare, as Manvel’s Jalen Preston was wrestled down at the 1-yard line after a 30-yard reception as time ran out.