PONDER — Pilot Point quarterback Travis Garrett rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns on Friday night, and the defense held off a late Ponder rally for a 20-12 District 5-2A DI win.
The Bearcats (5-2, 3-0 district) had to rely on its defense in the waning seconds when the Lions (2-5, 0-3) pushed the ball to the Pilot Point 40-yard line. But facing a fourth-and-22, sophomore quarterback Brady Anderson’s last-ditch “Hail Mary” pass was batted down with 15 seconds remaining.
“We didn’t show them enough respect and it almost came back to bite us,” Garrett said. “They could have pulled it out; thank God our defense pulled it out for us. We shouldn’t have put them [defense] in that position as an offense.”
Despite Garrett’s performance, Pilot Point managed just a 7-0 lead at halftime. With 29 seconds left in the third, Anderson — who carried the ball 22 times for 104 yards and passed for 52 — bulled his way in from a yard out to give the Lions their first score. The two-point conversion failed, so Pilot Point maintained a slim 7-6 lead.
That’s when things got interesting as both teams combined for three touchdowns in a 2:08 span in the fourth quarter. Garrett started the scoring spree with a 4-yard run to give Pilot Point a 13-6 lead. But on the ensuing kickoff, Ponder’s Christian Worthington broke loose for a 90-yard touchdown return with 10:36 left in regulation.
The score still left the Lions trailing by one because of another failed two-point attempt. Garrett then ripped off a 61-yard touchdown run to give Pilot Point a 20-12 lead with 8:49 left in regulation.
“I thought we played well; Pilot Point is one of the better teams in the district, and we had a chance to take the lead several times but we didn’t,” Ponder coach Glen Schuelke said. “We’re getting better from week to week; it’s not going to be like it used to be … you’d better come ready to play against us.”
The Lions had chances to flip the script in the first half. With 8:07 left in the second, Anderson broke loose for a 47-yard sneak up the middle of the field. The Lions were facing a third-and-34 heading into his big run but suddenly had the ball deep in Bearcats territory. But the drive stalled with four minutes remaining in the quarter, leading to Pilot Point’s first score one drive later.
Pilot Point 20, Ponder 12
PP — Travis Garrett 2 run (Zachary Hairell kick)
PD — Brady Anderson 1 run (pass failed Brady Anderson)
PP — Travis Garrett 4 run (kick failed)
PD — Christian Worthington 90 kickoff return (pass failed Brady Anderson)
PP — Travis Garrett 61 run (Zachary Hairell kick)
Rushing — PD: Brady Anderson 22-104, Trey Dunlap 14-47, Christian Worthington 2-4, PP: Travis Garrett 19-137, Tristan Jurecka 20-79, DaCoven Bailey 4-34, Creed Bright 2-12, TEAM STAT 1-0.
Passing — PD: Brady Anderson 7-13-0-52, Trey Dunlap 0-1-0-0, PP: Travis Garrett 8-12-0-93.
Receiving — PD: Christian Worthington 4-29, Spencer Waldo 1-15, Trey Dunlap 2-8, PP: DaCoven Bailey 5-70, Jamaal Anderson 1-24, Matthew Greenwood 1-2, Tristan Jurecka 1--3.