PILOT POINT — Quarterback Travis Garrett ran for one score and passed for another and teammate Tristen Jurecka ran for two more as Pilot Point powered past Ponder for a 26-7 homecoming victory Friday night.
The Bearcats improved to 5-2 overall, 2-1 in District 5-2A play, while the Lions slipped to 2-5, 0-3.
Jurecka ran 5 yards at the end of a 12-play, 65-yard drive with 4:18 left in the game to score the second half’s only points after Pilot Point took a 20-7 halftime lead.
Jurecka finished with 75 yards rushing on 15 carries, while Garrett rushed 18 times for 98 yards and passed for an additional 120. Ponder was led by quarterback Reid Sanders, who completed 18 of 34 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown while suffering one interception.
Christian Worthington’s 61-yard kickoff return left the Lions needing to go only 22 yards for an early 7-6 lead, with the touchdown coming on a 5-yard Sanders pass to Austin Leveridge with 2:55 left in the first quarter.
The Bearcats bounced back to recapture the lead at 14-7 on its next possession, going 58 yards in six plays and scoring on a 2-yard Garrett sneak to open the second quarter. Garrett ran it in for the 2-point conversion.
Garrett ran for 39 yards and passed for 32 more on a 14-play, 78-yard drive for a 20-7 Bearcats lead with 1:36 left in the half. Pilot Point’s sophomore QB had a 22-yard run, passed to Creed Bright for 20 more and saw a 14-yard run by Tristen Jurecka en route to the 6-yard payoff pass to Steven Castorena.
The drive had to overcome three penalties for 25 yards but was helped by a pass interference call on Ponder on third-and-20.
The Lions went for it on fourth down the first time they owned the ball and Pilot Point held to get at Ponder’s 45-yard line. Pilot Point converted a fourth-down try with a 17-yard run by Jarren Alexander, before Jurecka capped the seven-play drive with a 2-yard run for a 6-0 lead with 5:01 left in the first quarter.
Sanders completed his first eight passes of the game and finished 12 of 16 for 85 yards in the first half. Garrett had 53 yards rushing on 12 carries and hit 4 of 7 passes for 67 yards by halftime.
Pilot Point 26, Ponder 7
PP — Tristan Jurecka 2 run (kick failed), 5:01.
P — Austin Leveridge 5 pass from Reid Sanders (Coleman James kick), 2:55.
PP — Travis Garrett 2 run (Garrett run), 11:55.
PP — Steven Castorena 6 pass from Garrett (kick failed), 1:36.
PP — Jurecka 5 run (kick failed), 4:18.
Rushing — Po: Brennan Sooter 7-11, Austin Leveridge 2-7, Reid Sanders 1-4, Trey Dunlap 1-4; PP: Travis Garrett 18-98, Tristan Jurecka 15-75, Jarren Alexander 7-46, Jacob Lock 3-21, Dacoven Bailey 1-2, Team 1-(-1).
Passing — Po: Sanders 18-34-1 146; PP: Garrett ,10-16-0 120.
Receiving — Po: Dylan Nichelson 3-12, Tanner Yeaber 4-25, Christian Worthington 3-35, Leveridge 5-48, Sooter 1-3, Nick King 2-23; PP: Mason Richey 5-78, Creed Bright 1-20, Lock 3-16, Steven Castorena 1-6.