For the second consecutive season, the South Oak Cliff High School football team has made it to the state semifinals of the 5A Division II playoffs — this time as the defending state champion.
South Oak Cliff (SOC) is in the midst of an 11-game winning streak after starting the season 0–3 with losses to Duncanville, Lancaster, and DeSoto. The team recovered to finish in first place in District 6-5A Division II with a perfect 5–0 record in district play.
The Golden Bears are one of the most balanced teams in the Dallas area, boasting the region’s top-scoring offense and fourth-best overall offense. They have limited opponents to just over 200 yards defensively, according to The Dallas Morning News.
This year’s offense features two running backs who have rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season, Tedrick Williams and Danny Green. After some uncertainty, William Little has claimed the starting quarterback spot.
On defense, the team has three Division I college commits: Malik Muhammad, Billy Walton, and Jaylon Thomas.
South Oak Cliff opened its playoff run with a tightly contested 12–7 win over Mansfield Summit in the bi-district round. The offense struggled, only gaining 126 yards, but SOC managed to score on a late punt return to survive.
The following week brought Lovejoy into the area round. This game was the polar opposite of the previous week, as both teams scored more than 35 points.
The Golden Bears won 42–37, but the final score was not exactly representative of how the game unfolded. South Oak Cliff raced out to a 42–10 lead, and Lovejoy scored a few late touchdowns to make it look like a closer game.
Next was the regional semifinal against Midlothian Heritage. With the game tied at 27 and just over seven minutes remaining, South Oak Cliff drove down the field, and Green scored from the one-yard line as time expired, clocking 305 rushing yards.
In the regional final, SOC defeated Melissa 30–16. The Golden Bears scored three touchdowns in the second half to erase a one-point halftime deficit and keep their season alive.
South Oak Cliff won its first-ever football state championship in 2021 with a 23–14 win over Liberty Hill, becoming the first Dallas ISD school to win a football championship since 1958 after the UIL stripped Dallas Carter of its 1988 title.
The state semifinal brings a formidable opponent. Argyle is 14–0 with two 1,000-yard rushers and a great defense that excels at shutting down the run — SOC’s strength.
State champion South Oak Cliff will not find back-to-back championship victory easy. The team’s real challenge is about to begin.
South Oak Cliff and Argyle will meet at 7:30 on Friday night at Fort Worth’s Crowley ISD stadium. The winner will advance to the 5A Division II state championship game.