A second half surge from the Aubrey Chaparrals let them pull away from the Pilot Point Bearcats in the 2017 edition of "The Battle of 377" as the final read 28-6.
It took the Chaps (2-1) about a half to get going, but after starting the second half with a 41-yard touchdown run from senior running back Spencer Neumann, Aubrey never looked back. This now marks the second year in a row that Aubrey has won against Pilot Point (1-2) in the rivalry match-up.
It is a big step forward for head coach Keith Ivy and his squad.
"It feels good," Ivy said. "This is a rivalry game that means a lot to the community and you can see that."
Senior running back Pablo Vera put the nails in the coffin with two touchdown runs in the second half to cap off his final Battle of 377. He finished with 95 yards and two touchdowns.
"We have bragging rights for life now," Vera said. "We see these guys everywhere and we can say that we won our senior year. It feels good."
The first quarter came and went without a scoring play from either team, but the Chaps finally found the breakthrough they had been looking for early in the second quarter.
Senior Gatlin Grisso scored his first touchdown of the season when he broke left for a 23-yard touchdown run that he had been looking to get. After lurking all quarter the senior finally hit pay-dirt to put Aubrey up 7-0. It was the first time Grisso played on offense this season, and he exited the game in the third quarter with what Ivy said may be a hyperextended knee.
The Chaps had the ball back immediately after recovering the kickoff in Pilot Point territory, but an errant Taylor Swarbrick pass fell into the hands of senior defensive back Ty Hellman.
The Chaps looked poised to get to halftime with a shutout, but the Bearcats had other ideas. A fourth down heave toward the end-zone as halftime approached was caught in traffic by senior Javin Bruce and hauled down in the end-zone.
A two-point try from Pilot Point did not come off as the Chaps held a 7-6 lead. Aubrey would take a shot at the end-zone with seconds remaining in the half, but Hellman popped up again with another first-half interception.
The second half saw all scoring go Aubrey's way. Neumann busted off his 41-yard run to put the Chaps up 14-6 in the third quarter. The fourth quarter opened with a Vera interception, and then the senior cracked off a 51-yard touchdown run to put Aubrey up 21-6.
Vera capped off the night with a two-yard touchdown run to hit the final score of 28-6.
"He's a play maker," Ivy said. "He's a fourth-year kid. He will play hard."
FEATURED IMAGE: Aubrey defenders James Drake (36) and Connor Laughlin (58) bring down Pilot Point running back Ty Hellman (12) during their game at Chaparral Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in Aubrey. Photo by Al Key/For the DRC
Aubrey 28, Pilot Point 6
AU -- Gatlin Grisso 23 run (Landon Stewart kick)
PP -- Reagan Gochis 36 pass from Jacob Pitts (run failed)
AU -- Spencer Neumann 41 run (Landon Stewart kick)
AU -- Pablo Vera 51 run (Landon Stewart kick)
AU -- Pablo Vera 2 run (Landon Stewart kick)
Rushing -- AU: Pablo Vera 11-95, Spencer Neumann 9-77, Gatlin Grisso 9-57, Taylor Swarbrick 2-14, Amos Perkins 2-7, Will Dow 2-6, Brody Bounds 1-2, Marc Vasquez 1-1, PP: Jacob Pitts 16-42, Ty Hellman 14-39, Roy Brown 7-10, Walker David 1--9, Team Stat 1--50.
Passing -- AU: Taylor Swarbrick 2-5-2-30, PP: Jacob Pitts 5-8-1-68.
Receiving -- AU: Will Dow 1-24, Gatlin Grisso 1-6, PP: Reagan Gochis 2-34, Ty Hellman 2-30, Team Stat 1-4.