PILOT POINT — As the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game between Pilot Point and Aubrey, only one point separated the two schools separated by less than nine miles.
When Pilot Point junior quarterback Travis Garrett stepped off the field for the final time, he had given the Bearcats a last-minute win.
With 28 seconds left in the game, Garrett found sophomore DaCoven Bailey for a 23-yard touchdown reception to give the Bearcats a 28-21 victory on Friday night at Massey Stadium.
Pilot Point scored 21 of its 28 points in the fourth quarter and used a stretch of 20 straight points to not only erase a seven-point halftime deficit but help the Bearcats to the comeback win.
The touchdown pass to Bailey was Garrett’s longest pass of the ballgame. The junior finished with 93 yards and also rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
“I was ready to strangle him in the first half, but now, I’d like to adopt him,” Pilot Point head coach Rob Best said. “I thought he settled down. He played like I thought he could play. He has that type of ability, and once he gets in rhythm and is feeling good about himself, he’s as good as anybody. He really is.”
It looked as if Aubrey (1-3) had landed the game-winning blow with 2:51 left in the contest. With the Chaparrals trailing for the first time on Friday night, senior quarterback Mason Robinson hit senior Calvin Stang for an 18-yard touchdown reception to put Aubrey back in front by a point.
But after an unnecessary roughness penalty gave Pilot Point an automatic first down after a potential 2nd-and-long deep in Pilot Point territory, Garrett led the Bearcats (2-2) back down the field for the game-winning score.
“The corners started backing up,” Garrett said. “They knew it was the final drive. We just hit the short passes, and our receivers made plays and got out of bounds to stop the clock.”
Early on, things didn’t go Garrett and the Bearcats’ way.
After Garrett fumbled at his own 30-yard line, Aubrey running back Sam Heath punched his way through the line of scrimmage and scored from a yard out to put the Chaparrals up 7-0 with 3:15 left in the first quarter.
Aubrey scored again in the second quarter after starting its drive on the Pilot Point 24-yard line. Chaps running back Clay Kelly put the visitors up 14-0 with a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:28 left in the first half.
Following that touchdown, Garrett used his legs to spur a dormant Pilot Point offense. Garrett took the Bearcats down the field on a 12 play, 75-yard drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Garrett right before halftime.
That drive accounted for all but 14 of Pilot Point’s total yards in the first half. The Bearcats carried that momentum into the second half, where the home team wore down the Chaparrals on a drenched field.
“We just had a hard time stopping the outside game,” Aubrey head coach Mike Segleski said. “We got tired. That’s just our problem all year. We’ve got guys that play on both sides of the football. I just felt like physically we wore down and weren’t able to stop them.”
All week in practice, Garrett said he and his teammates were reminded that their neighbors to the north on U.S. Highway 377 had won the previous three meetings between the two teams. But with Garrett’s last-minute heroics, Pilot Point snatched the bragging rights for at least the next 12 months.
“This one’s hard because it’s your rival,” Segleski said. “It’s not just another football game. It’s not a district game, but I’d be lying to you if I said it was just another game. It’s not. It’s going to sit with us for a long time.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.
Pilot Point 28, Aubrey 21
AU — Sam Heath 1 run (Evan Moore kick)
AU — Clay Kelly 5 run (Evan Moore kick)
PP — Travis Garrett 5 run (Ramiro Mendoza kick)
PP — Tristan Jurecka 1 run (Ramiro Mendoza kick)
PP — Travis Garrett 5 run (Ramiro Mendoza kick failed)
AU — Calvin Stang 18 pass from Mason Robinson (Evan Moore kick)
PP — Dacoven Bailey 23 pass from Travis Garrett (Creed Bright run)
Rushing — AU: Clay Kelly 11-46, Daniel Longhenry 12-31, Cole Cannon 3-17, Phillip Wilds 3-9, Mason Robinson 7-4, Matt Duncan 1-2, Sam Heath 1-1, PP: Travis Garrett 29-149, Tristan Jurecka 13-89, Dacoven Bailey 1-3, Creed Bright 1--2.
Passing — AU: Mason Robinson 10-17-0-145, PP: Travis Garrett 10-17-0-93.
Receiving — AU: Calvin Stang 4-65, Matt Duncan 2-31, Will Green 1-20, Phillip Wilds 1-19, Clay Kelly 1-8, Tyler Williams 1-2, PP: Dacoven Bailey 2-29, Creed Bright 2-25, Matthew Greenwood 3-22, Jalyn Marick 2-16, Tristan Jurecka 1-1.