Duncanville Dominates in Decisive Victory Over North Shore, Securing Back-to-Back Class 6A Division I State Championships

Duncanville ISD champions 2023
Photo credit Duncanville ISD

Duncanville Panthers Are Back-to-Back Class 6A Division I State Champions.

Earlier in the week, Duncanville football coach Reginald Samples had a simple but strong message to all who could hear concerning the Panthers’ mission to repeat as Class 6A Division I state champions.

“Our players are skilled, they’re prepared, and they play hard,” Samples said. “I want another one!”

The players backed up that statement Saturday, Dec. 16, as they defeated Galena Park North Shore 49-33 at AT&T Stadium.

It was the fifth time in six years for the Panthers and Mustangs to clash in the state final. After North Shore won the first three meetings in 2018 (41-36 on a Hail Mary), 2019 (34-17), and 2021 (17-10), Duncanville has won the past two, including 28-21 last season.

Saturday, the Panthers, who finished 14-1, controlled North Shore (15-1) from the outset. Behind the running of the game’s Offensive MVP, Caden Durham, Duncanville took a 35-17 halftime lead.

Durham finished with 231 yards rushing on 22 carries, including three touchdowns of 26, 72 and 92 yards. The latter was the second-longest TD run in 6A Division I history.

Durham ended his senior season as a Panther with 2,072 yards and 24 TD rushing.

In all, the teams combined for almost 1,000 yards of offense. Duncanville amassed 538 (250 rushing, 288 passing), and North Shore gained 449 (210 rushing, 239 passing).

Defensive MVP honors went to Duncanville’s Colin Simmons. He collected eight tackles, three of which went for losses and three sacks.

Duncanville quarterback Keelan Russell passed for three touchdowns, completing 14 of 20 passes. Two of the touchdowns went to Zach Turner for 28 and 75 yards. Russell also ranks for a TD.

In a yeoman effort, Mustangs quarterback Kaleb Bailey accounted for 265 of his team’s yards. He rushed for 126 yards on 17 carries and passed for 239 and three TDs.

North Shore entered the game ranked No. 5 in the nation. Duncanville was 12th.

The Panthers’ lone loss was to District 11-6A rival DeSoto, ranked sixth in the nation. The Eagles also repeated as state championships in Class 6A Division II, defeating Humble Summer Creek 74-14 to wrap up the evening.

History in The Making

Saturday night’s game was the first UIL Texas high school football state championship game featuring two Black head coaches.

The championship was the third in Duncanville history. They also won a state championship in 1998. Duncanville’s Reginald Samples is the winningest Black head coach in state history, and says after this victory he wants more over North Shore. With Saturday’s victory Samples became the third Black Coach in UIL history to win at least two state championships at the same school.


Class 6A Division I state championship

Saturday, Dec. 16 at AT&T Stadium

Duncanville 49, Galena Park North Shore 33


Duncanville   21      14      7        7 – 49

North Shore    7      10      3        13 – 33


D – Caden Durham 26 run (Johnathan Batres kick)

NS – D’Andre Hardeman, Jr. 5 run (Jonathan Soto kick)

D – Durham 72 run (Batres kick)

D – Durham 92 (Batres kick)

D – Dakorien Moore 39 pass from Keelan Russell (Batres kick)

NS – Soto 24 FG

D – Zach Turner 28 pass from Russell (Batres kick)

NS – Christopher Barnes 9 pass from Kaleb Bailey (Soto kick)

NS – Soso 35 FG

D – Turner 75 pass from Russell (Batres kick)

NS – Barnes 11 pass from Bailey (PAT failed)

D – Russell 10 brown (Batres kick)

NS – Jaylen Bocard 28 pass from Bailey (Soto kick)




First downs: Dunc. 17, NS 20.

Rushes-yards: Dunc. 32-250, NS 38-210.

Passing yards: Dunc. 288, NS 239.

Caught-thrown-int.: Dunc. 14-20-0, NS 19-26-1.

Fumbles-lost: Dunc. 0-0, NS 1-1.

Punts-average: Dunc. 5-30.6, NS 5-39.2.

Penalties-yards: Dunc. 6-55, NS 7-70.

Third-down conversions: Dunc. 2-10, NS 3-11.

Fourth-down conversions: Dunc. 1-2, NS 2-2.

Time of possession: Dunc. 19:17, NS 28:43.


Individual leaders


Dunc.: Durham 22-231, 3 TD; Russell 7-28, TD.

NS: Bailey 17-126; Hardeman, Jr. 17-66, TD.


Dunc.: Russell 14-20-0, 288 yards, 3 TD.

NS: Bailey 19-25-1, 239 yards, 3 TD.


Dunc.: Ayson Theus 5-106; Turner 2-103, 2 TD; Moore 5-62, TD; Durham 2-17.

NS: Deion DeBlanc 3-71; Terrance Guillory II 1-62; Barnes 6-42, 2 TD.


Dunc.: Mason Williams 10, Alex January 9, Ka’Davorian Dotson-Walker 8, Colin Simmons 8, EJ McKinney 6.

NS: Jarvin Coles 8, Dillion Dixon 6.

Tackles for loss

Dunc.: Simmons 3, January 2, Dotson-Walker 1.

NS: Nicholas Goins 2.


Dunc.: Simmons 3, January 1.

NS: Goins 1, Kaleb Cain 1.


Dunc.: Dotson-Walker 1 (returned 21 yards).

Fumble recovery

Dunc.: McKinney 1.




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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters