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On Saturday, December 18, 2023, the Duncanville Panthers and the North Shore Mustangs will meet for the fourth time in five years in the UIL Class 6A Division I state championship game at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington. This is one of the most anticipated matchups in Texas high school football history, as both teams are nationally ranked and have a history of close games and bad blood. Here is everything you need to know about this epic showdown and the rest of the card.
Duncanville Panthers: The Undefeated Powerhouse
The Duncanville Panthers (14–0) are the only undefeated team in Class 6A Division I, and have been dominant all season long, scoring 781 points and allowing only 182. The Panthers have beaten some of the top teams in the state, such as Southlake Carroll, DeSoto, and Lake Travis, and have won their games by an average margin of 43 points. The Panthers are led by senior quarterback Chris Parson, who has thrown for 3,958 yards and 42 touchdowns, with only six interceptions. Parson’s favorite targets are senior wide receivers Dakorian Moore and Jalen Early, who have combined for 2,258 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Panthers also have a balanced running game, with junior running back Caden Durham leading the way with 867 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Panthers’ defense is anchored by senior linebacker Jordan Crook, who has 86 tackles and seven sacks, and senior defensive back Kendrick Blackshire, who has six interceptions and two touchdowns. North Shore Mustangs: The Defending Champions
The North Shore Mustangs (15–0) are the defending Class 6A Division I state champions, who have overcome a slow start to the season to reach the title game for the fourth time in five years. The Mustangs lost their first two games of the season, against Katy and IMG Academy, but then went on a 13-game winning streak, including a 45–35 victory over Westlake in the semifinals. The Mustangs are led by junior quarterback Conner Weigman, who has thrown for 3,722 yards and 48 touchdowns, with only four interceptions. Weigman’s main weapons are senior wide receiver Shadrach Banks, who has 1,342 yards and 18 touchdowns, and junior running back Xavier Owens, who has 1,036 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Mustangs’ defense is led by senior linebacker Harold Perkins, who has 139 tackles and four sacks, and senior defensive end Denver Harris, who has 14 sacks and two forced fumbles. The Rivalry: A History of Thrilling Finishes and Controversial Moments
The Duncanville Panthers and the North Shore Mustangs have a history of thrilling finishes and controversial moments, dating back to 2018, when they first met in the state championship game. Since then, they have played each other three times, with North Shore winning two and Duncanville winning one. The average score of their games is 28–26, with two of them decided by one point or less. The rivalry has also been marked by some memorable and dramatic moments, such as:
In 2018, North Shore won 41–36 on a Hail Mary pass from Dematrius Davis to AJ Carter as time expired, giving the Mustangs their third state title[¹^]. In 2019, Duncanville won 31–17 in the regular season, ending North Shore’s 29-game winning streak and avenging their loss from the previous year[²^]. In 2020, North Shore won 31–17 in the state championship game, denying Duncanville its first state title since 1998 and claiming its fourth state title[³^]. In 2021, North Shore won 17–10 in the state championship game, holding off a late Duncanville rally and securing its fifth state title[⁴^].