PILOT POINT — The Pilot Point Bearcats went 97 yards in nine plays in the final four minutes of Friday night’s game to score a 14-7 win over neighbor Sanger and remain unbeaten at 3-0.
Sanger, which led from the game’s seventh minute until its 31st and next to last, fell to 0-3.
Junior quarterback Travis Garrett, who scored the game winner on a twisting 15-yard run with 1 minute, 9 seconds left on the clock, had plenty of help on the final drive but none bigger than from running back Tristan Jurecka.
The tough-running junior picked up Garrett’s wayward pitchout on third-and-15 and managed to bang his way down the Indians’ sideline for 13 yards. Then Jurecka, who led all rushers with 124 yards on 17 carries, plowed up the middle to pick up the necessary yards on a fourth-and-1 play before Garrett worked his go-ahead magic.
Senior wideout Mason Richey, who caught four Garrett passes for 68 yards, had a 29-yard catch to key the 97-yard drive.
Sanger, led by junior running back Derek Shelby (117 yards on 28 carries), had its best second-half chance to pad its tenuous 7-6 halftime lead when it moved to the Pilot Point 31-yard line with less than five minutes remaining. The Indians’ drive stalled there, but when Ted Wisdom’s punt went out of bounds at the Bearcats’ 3 with 3:42 left, Sanger’s chances to break into the win column were looking pretty good.
Twice in the first half, Pilot Point’s defense stopped the Indians in the red zone.
Sanger took the opening kickoff and marched 57 yards in eight plays, with Shelby doing most of the marching. But Bearcats Jonah Fritz and Beau Ewton teamed to stop Sanger QB Brandon Mann a yard shy of paydirt on a fourth-down sweep.
Late in the first half, Sanger began at the Pilot Point 49 after a 15-yard penalty on the Bearcats, and the visitors moved inside the Pilot Point 20, with the big play a 20-yard pass from Mann to Brennan Bloom. But on fourth down, John Groff led Pilot Point in stopping Shelby a yard short of a new set of downs.
Each team took advantage of the other’s mistakes to score in the first half.
The Indians needed to go only 29 yards for their touchdown after a Bearcats fumble, with Mann hooking up with Devin Teeters for an 11-yard score. Kyle Johnson’s PAT made it 7-0 with 4:17 left in the first quarter.
The Bearcats countered in the second quarter after a 12-yard Sanger punt set up a drive just 30 yards from the end zone. The big play was Jurecka’s 11-yard run, but Garrett got the touchdown with a 5-yard keeper around left end.
A missed extra point, a Pilot Point bugaboo so far this season, left Sanger up 7-6 with 8:23 left in the first half.
Pilot Point 14, Sanger 7
S – Devin Teeters 11 pass from Brandon Mann (Kyle Johnson kick), 4:17.
P – Travis Garrett 5 run (kick failed), 8:23.
P – Garrett 15 run (Creed Bright from Garrett), 1:09.
Rushing — S: Derek Shelby 28-117, Andrew Martinez 1-(-1), Tanner Thomas 1-7, Brandon Mann 7-18, Devin Teeters 1-3, Team 1-(-1), Brice Escobedo 1-2. P: Tristan Jurecka 17-124, Jacob Lock 2-19, Travis Garrett 16-60, Creed Bright 2-4, Jarren Alexander 3-18, Austin Trinklein 1-4, Team 1-(-1).
Passing — S:Mann 5-8-0-56, Wyatt Broxson 1-1-0-3. P: Garrett 6-12-0-74.
Receiving — S: Teeters 3-20, Brennan Bloom 2-29, Thomas 1-10.P: Bright 1-0, Mason Richey 4-68, Matt Greenwood 1-6.