[Matt Stepp, Special to ETSN.fm]

MINERAL WELLS -- Waskom kept its season alive with 14-play, 85-yard championship drive. 

Running back Chan Amie’s second rushing touchdown of the night from a yard out with 1:06 left lifted Waskom to a 28-24 win against Idalou at Mineral Wells' Ram Stadium in the Class 3A Division II state semifinals. 

Friday's game featured five second-half lead changes and a pair of trick plays from Waskom on third downs the final drive to keep the season alive. The win puts the Wildcats (15-0) into the Class 3A Division II state championship game, where they will take on unbeaten Franklin at 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

The game, which will be played at the Houston Texans' NRG Stadium, airs on Fox Sports Southwest.

Idalou's Nick Ybarra celebrates Ty Nichols' first-quarter touchdown. (Mark Rogers, courtesy from The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

For the second straight year in a semi-final game against a West Texas opponent, things didn’t start out well for Waskom. The physical squad from Idalou, led by Brandt Schilling, dominated.

The senior running back from Idalou (13-1) finished with 40 carries for 240 yards and two touchdowns, allowing him to surpass 3,000 rushing yards on the season. 

After recovering an onside kick to start the game, Idalou easily marched down the field to score on a 4-yard run by fullback Ty Nichols to take an early 7-0 lead.

Disaster struck Waskom on the next series as Kaleb Haynes, while fighting for an extra yard to get in the end zone, fumbled at the 1-yard line. Schilling recovered to give Idalou the ball back. 

Idalou drove more than 90 yards, but a big defensive play on third-and-goal by Waskom linebacker Mike Reason forced Idalou into a 25-yard field goal by Likie Korkpa to put Idalou up 10-0.

The remainder of the first half was a defensive struggle with both teams fighting for field position. Waskom finally broke through late in the quarter on a 15-yard run by Haynes to cut the Idalou lead to 10-7.

Waskom took its first lead of the game, 14-10, early in the second half on a 3-yard run quarterback Dylan Harkrider.

Schilling ripped off an untouched, 57-yard touchdown run the next series to put Idalou back on top 17-14. 

Two plays later, the back and forth continued as Amie, last year’s state title game Defensive Most Valuable Player ripped off a 75-yard scoring run to give Waskom another lead, 21-17.  

Amie finished the night with 232 rushing yards.

Idalou answered again with 10:12 left in the game, as Schilling scored from 75 yards out to give his side a 24-21 edge. 

Waskom’s offense moved the ball to Idalou's 43, but on fourth-and-2 Idalou’s Nick Ybarra stopped Harkrider for a turnover on downs. Idalou took over with little more than eight minutes left with a chance to ice the game.

The West Texas team picked up a first down, but the drive stalled and Idalou punted Waskom to set up the game-winning drive.

Facing a third-and-7 on its own 40, Waskom pulled out a swinging gate play and Haynes, who finished with 116 yards, picked up nine yards near midfield and a first down.

Waskom pulled out the bag of tricks again as Logan Hughes took a jet sweep handoff, pulled up and hit Eric Stephens III for a 30-yard gain to the Idalou 19 on another third-and-long. 

Four plays later, Amie scored from a yard out to put Waskom up for good. 

Idalou, with one timeout in its pocket, moved near midfield, but quarterback Zack Kirkpatrick was sacked by multiple Waskom players on the final play of the game,

“Man what a game," Waskom head coach Whitney Keeling said. "Hats' off to Idalou. They are a great team and well-coached, but we are a resilient team and our kids came through. These kids have played in so many big games, we’ve been down in some and up in some, but they never give up. What a great win for these kids and this community."

Waskom defensive back Jason Jinks drags down Idalou running back Brandt Schilling. (Mark Rogers, courtesy from The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

Waskom 28, Idalou 24
Class 3A Division II State Semifinals
Ram Stadium, Mineral Wells

Waskom         0        7       14         7    --   28
Idalou            10       0         7         7   --  24

First Quarter
IDA--Ty Nichols 4 run (Likkie Forkpa kick)
IDA--Forkpa 25 field goal
Second Quarter
WAS--Kaleb Haynes 15 run (Victor Tapia kick)
Third Quarter
WAS--Dylan Harkrider 3 run (Tapia kick)
IDA--Brandt Schilling 57 run (Forkpa kick)
WAS--Chan Amie 75 run (Tapia kick)
Fourth Quarter
IDA--Schilling 27 run (Forkpa kick)
WAS--Amie 1 run (Tapia kick)

                                                   WAS               IDA
First Downs                                  17                  14
Total Yards                                  411                338
Rushes-Yards                           42-448           53-321
Passing Yards                              239                17
Comp.-Att.-Int.                           1-4-0             2-4-0
Punts-Avg.                                  2-31.5            5-51.5
Fumbles-Lost                              2-2                  2-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Waskom, Chan Amie 22-232, Kaleb Haynes 10-116, Eric Stephens III 3-53, Dylan Harkrider 9-24, Keileon Johnson 4-12, Lucas Norton 4-11. IdalouBrandt Schilling 40-240, Ty Nichols 6-52, Beau Howard 4-29, Zack Kirkpatrick 3-0.
PASSING--Waskom, Norton 1-1-0--30, Harkrider 0-3-0--0. Idalou, Kirkpatrick 2-4-0--17
RECEIVING--Waskom, Stephens 1-30. IdalouNichols 2-17.