ARLINGTON – The best season in Malakoff school history ended short of the Tigers’ ultimate goal.

But that didn’t stop Malakoff head coach Jamie Driskell from reflecting following his team’s 35-21 loss to Grandview on Thursday night in the Class 3A Division I state championship game at AT&T Stadium.

“They beat us tonight, they’re better than us,” Driskell said. “They did a good job. It’s been a fun year, the kids are upset right now but they’ll have time to reflect on it and think about what we’ve done, and the accomplishments we made. I’m happy for them, my heart goes out to them right now.”

Elijah Golden’s 3-yard touchdown run with 9:15 remaining broke a 21-21 tie, and the Zebras added a knockout blow with 23 seconds to play.

Malakoff was burned by mistakes and near-misses.

The Tigers committed three turnovers, and suffered some critical drops on offense.

“We were close,” Driskell said. “We made some mistakes and it’s gonna hurt. It’ll probably be a while before I watch the film, but that’s football. They made plays and we didn’t.”

Grandview’s Dane Jentsch, who took home both Offensive and Defensive MVP honors, threw three touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Zebras’ attack.

He finished 15 of 26 passing for 171 yards, and added 89 yards on 22 rushing attempts.

The game’s biggest swing in momentum came late in the second quarter, when Malakoff punt returner Nathan Jones had the ball go off his foot and into the arms of a Grandview player.

Two plays later, Jentsch connected with Jacob Patterson for a 53-yard touchdown that gave the Zebras a 21-14 lead with 3:30 until halftime.

“It was big,” Driskell said of the muffed punt. “It was tied at the time, and we got a good stop down here and we were gonna have good field position. Nathan’s fielded every one of them and has had a great year, it was just one of those bounces. It had to happen at the wrong time for us.”

Malakoff evened the game at 21-21 late in the third quarter on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Darion Peace to Andreas Garrett.

Peace, a sophomore, was 9 of 21 for 206 yards with that touchdown and two interceptions. Garrett, a junior, caught five passes for 101 yards.

“Right now we’re just gonna take a breath,” Driskell said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids at the skill positions but we’ve got five offensive linemen that are gonna be hard to replace. We were a physical football team this year, and we’ve got several guys that we’re gonna miss. We’ll have an offseason and we’ll see what happens.”

Malakoff struck first on Kaderrious Thomas’ 32-yard interception return for a touchdown, but Grandview answered right back when Jentsch hit Cooper Deans with a 4-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter.

The Tigers took a 14-7 lead moments later on a Keevie Rose 1-yard run, but the Zebras came right back down the field, and evened the game on Jentsch’s 1-yard quarterback sneak.

Grandview 35, Malakoff 21

Class 3A Division I State Championship
At AT&T Stadium, Arlington

Grandview         0    21      0    14    –    35
Malakoff             7      7      7      0    –    21

First Quarter
MAL—Kaderrious Thomas 32 interception return (Hector Romero kick), 3:34.
Second Quarter
GRA—Cooper Deans 4 pass from Dane Jentsch (Landon Seale kick), 11:53.
MAL—Keevie Rose 1 run (Romero kick), 10:01.
GRA—Jentsch 1 run (Seale kick), 7:09.
GRA—Jacob Patterson 53 pass from Jentsch (Seale kick), 3:30.
Third Quarter
MAL—Andreas Garrett 44 pass from Darion Peace (Romero kick), 2:49.
Fourth Quarter
GRA—Elijah Golden 3 run (Seale kick), 9:15.
GRA—Dametrious Crownover 15 pass from Jentsch (Seale kick), :23.

                                     GRA                  MAL
First Downs                        21                     12
Total Yards                        363                  308
Rushes-Yards               45-192            29-102
Passing Yards                    171                 206
Comp.-Att.-Int.            15-26-1             9-22-2
Punts-Avg.                    7-34.4              4-33.2
Fumbles-Lost                      0-0                 3-1
Penalties-Yards                 9-53                7-44

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING—Grandview, Elijah Golden 23-103, Dane Jentsch 22-89. Malakoff, RJ Carr 15-69, Darion Peace 8-22, Keevie Rose 4-7, Team 2-(-18), Andreas Garrett 0-22.
PASSING—Grandview, Jentsch 15-26-1—171. Malakoff, Peace 9-21-2—206, Garrett 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING—Grandview, Jacob Patterson 4-95, Austin Boyd 4-33, Cooper Deans 3-27, KC Black 3-1, Dametrious Crownover 1-15. Malakoff, Garrett 5-101, Nathan Jones 2-77, Parker Busch 1-28, Kaderrious Thomas 1-0.