DENHAM SPRINGS — Denham Springs High coach Dru Nettles illustrated the emotion by wiping away a few tears during postgame interviews. That was after an unlikely one-play explosion that decided the game.

Sophomore Shyron White turned a short pass from Lindsey Scott Jr. on fourth-and-3 into a 60-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left, lifting Zachary High to a 28-24 victory over Denham Springs in a District 4-5A showdown played Friday at DSHS.

“I was trying to get a first down,” White said. “My coaches were telling me to go out of bounds, but then I saw a block by Douglas Coleman and I turned it upfield. All I saw was green.”

Ninth-ranked Zachary (8-1, 5-0) won its eighth straight game and clinched at least a share of the 4-5A crown. Denham Springs (5-4, 4-1) was left to ponder what almost was. The Yellow Jackets controlled the first half and took a 24-21 lead on a 15-yard pass from Torez Kinchen to Kyandre Brooks with 1:18 remaining.

“It was a great high school football game,” Nettles said. “We played as hard as we could. Both teams made plays. They made the last one and that’s how it goes.”

Freshman running back Tyre Golmond ran for a game-high 113 yards on 25 carries to pace DSHS. Scott started slow but threw for 155 second-half yards, including two touchdowns for Zachary. Robert Thomas added 71 yards on nine carries for Denham Springs.

“We didn’t play as well as I thought we could, but Denham had a lot to do with that,” Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “Physically we were able to compete for four quarters, and that was so big. They had some guys who went down with cramps. It made a difference.”

Denham Springs set the tone quickly. The Yellow Jackets drove 65 yards for a TD after the opening kickoff. Thomas had a 22-yard run, but it was Kinchen’s 27-yard pass to J’uante Edwards that gave DSHS a 7-0 lead with 9:24 left in the first quarter.

There were missed opportunities for both teams. The Yellow Jackets’ Zach Stuart blocked a Zachary punt four plays later. But DSHS couldn’t capitalize on a first-and-goal at the ZHS 7.

Ty’Wan Beardon recovered a Golmond fumble. A penalty moved the ball DSHS 25. The Broncos settled for a 29-yard field goal by Martell Fontenot.

Scott completed just two first-half passes and had 9 yards rushing.

The Yellow Jackets took over at the ZHS 37 after a punt and scored 1:22 later on a 28-yard run by Golmond that made it 14-3 with 7:33 left in the half. A 44-yard Scott to Douglas Coleman pass got Zachary down near the goal line. This time the Broncos got a 26-yard Fontenot field goal to make it 14-6.

Zach Boothe’s 19-yard field goal gave the Yellow Jackets a 17-6 lead. Zachary got in the end zone in the final minute of the third quarter on a 13-yard pass from Scott, who threw to Coleman for a two-point conversion that made it 17-14.

An 80-yard drive gave the Broncos their first lead. Terry Sullivan’s 17-yard TD run with 4:44 to go set up the final sequence.