Pilot Point rallies to beat Callisburg
By Richard Greene
Trailing in the fourth quarter, Pilot Point quarterback Travis Garrett knew exactly where to go with the ball Friday night.
The junior quarterback hit DaCoven Bailey with a short pass and watched the sophomore dance down the sidelines before sneaking inside the pylon for a 30-yard touchdown that gave the Bearcats a 20-17 victory over defending District 5-2A Division I champion Callisburg Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
It was the second time in as many weeks for the two to hook up for the game-winning score. Last week against Aubrey, Bailey hauled in a 23-yard pass from Garrett with 28 seconds left to lift Pilot Point to a 28-21 win.
“I’m just getting used to it,” Bailey said.
Bailey finished Friday with five catches for 86 yards. He rushed for another 20 yards on six carries.
He nearly also returned a kick for a score being tripped up after a 43-yard return on the final play of the first half. But the sophomore said that return set up his game-winning sprint to the end zone.
“Coach told me in the locker room to keep running like I did on that kickoff return and that’s what I did,” Bailey said.
After Callisburg’s Gage Oppel hit a 39-yard field goal with 9:10 remaining, Pilot Point found itself down 17-13.
Garrett wasted no time marching Pilot Point down field. Garrett lobbed a ball deep to Jamaal Anderson for 37 yards. Then two plays later, he connected with Bailey for a 29-yard touchdown that was wiped out by a penalty.
The next play, Garrett went back to Bailey hitting him with a pass six yards down field. The sophomore did the rest, hugging the sideline on the way to the end zone.
“He’s a great player that keeps making athletic plays,” Garrett said about Bailey.
The Bailey touchdown came with 7:42 left. The Pilot Point defense then held Callisburg for a three-and-out to give Garrett and company the ball back with 5:30 remaining. Pilot Point chewed up the rest of the clock to preserve the win. Garrett carried the ball six times for 52 yards on the final clock-draining drive. Garrett finished with 111 on 26 carries.
“I’m proud of the players,” said Pilot Point coach Rob Best. “We talked at half about winning the second half and that’s what we did. It was important we held them to three. We then knew a touchdown would win it.
“A win is a win. We’re 1-0 and the lead dog now. That’s all that counts.”
Pilot Point trailed at the break 14-13 after Callisburg’s Mason Langthorn found the end zone twice.
His first score came on a fourth-down, 22-yard dash two minutes into the game after Callisburg recovered a fumble at the Pilot Point 27.
Pilot Point responded with Garrett capping a methodical 12-play drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone.
Two Ramiro Mendoza field goals put Pilot Point up 13-7. His 27-yard boot came with 42 seconds left in the half.
Pilot Point left just enough time on the clock for Langthorn and Callisburg. He broke free for a 41-yard run on first down and then completed a 25-yard halfback pass to Oppel to the 3-yard line with 8 seconds left before intermission. Langthorn dashed around the end on the next play to put Callisburg up at the break.
Langthorn finished with 84 yards on 12 carries.