Things weren't looking great for Waskom through the first quarter of its Class 3A Division II state semifinals game against Idalou.

The Wildcats failed to recover an opening onside kick and Idalou scored. Then Waskom turned the ball over at Idalou's 1-yard line and the opposition began a 90-yard drive the other way.

If it had not been for one Mike Reason tackle, East Texas' football season very well could have ended Friday. As it is, the senior Waskom linebacker blew up a third-and-goal play and helped create a 10-0 deficit rather than a two-touchdown hill to climb.

Those four points Idalou lost right there came back to bite it. The Wildcats escaped with a 28-24 victory at Ram Stadium in Mineral Wells as Reason went on to record 14 tackles, including four for loss, en route to the + Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week award.

Waskom (15-0) advanced to play Franklin (15-0) in the Class 3A Division II state championship game. It's an 8 p.m. kickoff Thursday from the Houston Texans' NRG Stadium and will be viewable across the region on Fox Sports Southwest.

Reason had previously been considered for the award three times this season.

The Wildcats, last season's state champion, were the only East Texas team to reach Week 17. Three other regional teams simultaneously fell in other semifinal games.

It was a given Idalou running back Brandt Schilling would cross over the 3,000-yard threshold during the meeting. He averaged 210 yards per game, 11.4 yards per carry and needed 57 yards for the feat despite sitting late in seven blowouts through the course of the season.

Schilling finished the game with 240 rushing yards on 40 attempts. Reason and the rest of Waskom's defense held him to six yards per run despite giving up a 57-yard touchdown.

The Wildcats will obviously be tested again Thursday by Franklin. That team averages seven touchdowns per game.

Reason will play his final high school game with 176 total tackles, a team-best six forced fumbles and eight pass breakups already to his name. Forty of his tackles have been for negative yardage. Queen Defensive Players of the Week