PILOT POINT — On senior night Friday, it took a hard-nosed run by Tristan Jurecka in his final game at Massey Stadium to get the Pilot Point Bearcats’ offense going.
The four-year varsity back rumbled through Bowie tacklers for a 27-yard run that kicked the Bearcats into high gear on the eventual tying touchdown drive early in the second quarter.
Pilot Point went on to score on its next two possessions to build a lead it never would relinquish in a 34-20 victory over the Jackrabbits.
“The line got some good blocks down field, the receivers got a few blocks, and I made a cut and got a couple of yards,” Jurecka said. “That’s how it’s been with this team all year. One person does something good and we all feed off that.”
Jurecka finished with 119 yards on 17 carries and found the end zone on a 2-yard run midway through the third quarter. But the senior finished the game on the sideline after taking a hit to his shoulder in the final minute of the third quarter. The extent of the injury was not known immediately after the game.
“Tristan had a great night, rushing for almost 120 yards in three quarters,” Pilot Point coach Rob Best said.
Jurecka wasn’t the only Bearcats player to leave the game with an injury. They also lost three linemen to injuries.
“It’s the worst feeling after winning a game,” Best said. “We were down to freshmen and sophomores playing on the offensive line at the end, and we also had a pretty good running back get hurt.”
Pilot Point (7-3, 5-1 District 5-2A) is finished with the regular season and will head to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
“We’re going to the playoffs and it helps, even though this happened tonight,” Jurecka said.
Jurecka led a rushing attack for Pilot Point that finished with 204 of the Bearcats’ 404 yards.
Quarterback Travis Garrett added 61 yards rushing, including a pair of 4-yard scoring runs that put Pilot Point up 14-7.
Garrett added 179 yards through the air, completing 13 of 20 attempts, and a pair of touchdowns to Jamaal Anderson. His 23-yard score to Anderson pushed the Bearcats’ lead to 21-7 with 1:26 left in the first half.
Quarterback Garland McCoy marched the Jackrabbits back down the field for a score. He hit running Carter Shackelford for a 10-yard strike to make it a one-possession game at halftime, 21-13.
McCoy threw for 311 yards, completing 22 of 42 attempts with two interceptions and three touchdowns.
Two plays into the second half, Pilot Point knocked the ball away from McCoy and recovered at the Bowie 35. It was one of three turnovers forced by the Pilot Point defense.
Two plays after the fumble recovery, Garrett hit Anderson on a 25-yard touchdown to put the Bearcats up 28-13 and on its way to the win.
Pilot Point 34, Bowie 20
Bowie — Levi Wallace 5 pass from Garland McCoy
Pilot Point — Travis Garrett 4 run, Jesus Orta kick
Pilot Point — Garrett 4 run, Orta kick
Pilot Point — Jamaal Anderson 23 pass from Garrett, Orta kick
Bowie — Carter Shackelford 10 pass from McCoy, kick failed
Pilot Point — Anderson 25 pass from Garrett, Orta kick
Pilot Point — Tristan Jurecka 2 run, kick failed
Bowie — Brad Slade 40 pass from McCoy, Flores kick
Rushing: Bowie, Garland McCoy 10-37, Carter Shackelford 7-6, Jay Ward 2-(minus 2), Team 1-(minus 8). Pilot Point, Creed Bright 1-(minus 10), Tristan Jurecka 17-119, Travis Garrett 16-61, Enos Baltazar 7-24, DaCoven Bailey 2-6.
Passing: Bowie, McCoy 22-42-2-311. Pilot Point, Garrett 13-20-0-179, Xavier Alexander 3-5-0-25.
Receiving: Bowie, Levi Wallace 7-58, Jay Ward 5-73, Jesse Vaughn 1-8, Brad Slade 5-73, Carter Shackelford 1-10. Pilot Point, Creed Bright 4-20, Bailey 2-51, Anderson 4-56, Joseph Davis 3-30, Matt Greenwood 1-5.