LONGVIEW -- Cole Ring scored three times, Hunter Wallace raced for a pair of long touchdown runs and the Harleton Wildcats continued their spectacular turnaround season with a 39-27 win over the Carlisle Indians on Friday in a Class 2A Division I area playoff game at Pine Tree’s Pirate Stadium.
Harleton, a 1-9 team a year ago, improves to 10-2 on the year and will take on either San Augustine or Normangee in the regional quarterfinals next week.
Carlisle ends its season with an 8-4 record.
Wallace broke off a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game to give the Wildcats a quick lead, but Carlisle answered six minutes later when Carlos DeLeon scored on a 1-yard run. JoJo Clark booted the PAT for Harleton, and Aaron Gallegos tacked on the Carlisle extra point to make it 7-7.
That was the last tie of the contest as the Wildcats used a 28-yard touchdown run by Ring with 2:24 left to go in front 13-7 before DeLeon scored his second TD of the night — a 5-yard run — and Gallegos booted the PAT for a 14-13 Indian lead.
Ring’s 12-yard run and Clark’s extra point with 5:25 left in the half gave Harleton the lead for good, and the Wildcats added to the cushion with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Grayson Handlin to Kobe Fergusion with 2:44 left in the half.
Carlisle came out of the break and used a 6-yard touchdown run by Jaion Turner to cut the deficit to 27-20, but a 64-yard touchdown jaunt by Wallace with 9:06 left in the contest moved Harleton on top 33-20.
DeLeon’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Victor Camacho and the PAT by Gallegos with 51 seconds remaining game the Indians a chance, but Harleton recovered the ensuing onside kick.
The Wildcats took a knee on first down, but after a timeout by Carlisle, Harleton ran another play and Ring took off on a 69-yard TD run to make the final 39-27.