Jacob Hartman scored a 3-yard touchdown with 5 minutes left to take the lead, then Mill Valley’s defense held on as the reigning Class 5A champions survived 16-13 at DeSoto in the state quarterfinals.
Those last five minutes were full of drama as DeSoto and Mill Valley traded fumbles, giving the second-seeded Wildcats a final chance to tie or take the lead with 1:05 to go.
Tyler Schultze, who replaced starting quarterback Jackson Miller after he was injured on the previous drive, completed five of his eight passes covering 50 yards to lead DeSoto into Jaguar territory.
But his final pass, from the Mill Valley 32, was broken up in the end zone as time expired, and the third-seeded Jaguars (7-2) escaped despite committing five turnovers.
Earlier in the quarter and playing at receiver, Shultze scored the touchdown that gave DeSoto (8-2) a 13-10 lead with 8:57 left in the fourth. Shultze received a lateral from Austin Tabor -- who caught a 12-yard pass from Miller -- and covered the last 45 yards to the end zone.
That came after Hartman broke through the line for a 1-yard touchdown for a short-lived Mill Valley 10-6 lead.
DeSoto capitalized on one of those turnovers late in the first half, as Miller connected with Tabor with 12 seconds left to take the 6-3 halftime lead -- one of the five lead changes in the game.
Next in its quest to repeat, Mill Valley will play host to St. Thomas Aquinas (6-3) in the semifinals -- a rematch of last year’s Sub-State won 34-31 in overtime by the Jaguars.
DeSoto’s season ended again in Sectionals to Mill Valley for the second season in a row. The Wildcats’ three losses over the past two seasons have come at the hands of the Jaguars -- including 70-21 earlier this season.
While this one was much closer, it wasn’t quite enough for the Wildcats.