Farmersville holds off Cats, 35-27
By Richard Greene
After trailing the entire game and turning the ball over four times, the Pilot Point Bearcats fought back to get a shot at tying the game in the final seconds.
But Travis Garrett’s pass went off Matt Greenwood’s fingertips at the goal line. One incompletion later, Farmersville escaped with the 35-27 victory in the Class 2A Division I Region II bi-district title game at McKinney’s Ron Poe Stadium.
“The kids didn’t quit. We believed we could tie it up at the end. We were ready with our two-point attempt,” said Pilot Point coach Rob Best. “We were just a fingertip away.
“It’s disappointing. But we had a chance to win it until the final seconds.”
Farmersville advances to play the winner of Saturday’s game between Daingerfield and Eustace in the area round.
The loss ends Pilot Point’s year at 7-4. It was the Bearcats’ first playoff appearance since 2009.
“I’m a junior and a majority of our team is coming back next year,” said Pilot Point receiver Jamaal Anderson. “We’ll be back next year.”
Anderson caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Garrett with 3:21 left to bring Pilot Point within 8, 35-27.
Pilot Point couldn’t corral the ensuing onside kick, but the Bearcats’ defense made a fourth-down stop to give the offense one last shot. Garrett marched the Bearcats from their 22 into Farmersville territory at the 35 with 15 seconds left. Garrett then had the missed connection with Greenwood before a last desperation throw landed incomplete.
Garrett finished with 255 yards through the air and 137 rushing. He completed 13 of his 34 attempts with three touchdowns and four interceptions.
Farmersville freshman Caleb Twyford picked Garrett off twice as part of his stellar night. He recorded his second interception on the second play of the fourth quarter in the end zone, ending Pilot Point’s bid for the go-ahead score.
Four plays later, Twyford hauled in his second touchdown reception of the night. He caught a screen pass at the line of the scrimmage and broke free down the sidelines for 69 yards to extend Farmersville’s lead to 28-20 with 9:12 left.
Farmersville added another score in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard run by quarterback Cole Anderson to take a 35-20 lead.
Farmersville used big plays to build a 21-14 lead in the first half, including a 42-yard touchdown catch by Twyford to get the night started.
Andrew Simons added the second touchdown, dashing 43 yards around the end.
Pilot Point turned the ball over on two of its first three possessions.
With Farmersville threatening to go up 21-0 late in the first quarter, the Pilot Point defense made a fourth-down stop at its 35. In the second half, the Pilot Point defense forced a fumble at the goal line to keep the Bearcats in the game.
Getting the ball back after a dead-ball facemask penalty, Pilot Point marched 81 yards for its first score — a 3-yard run by DaCoven Bailey.
Farmersville went back up by 14, 21-7, with a 33-yard run by Simons.
Pilot Point made it a touchdown game at the break with Bailey catching a fourth-down pass from Garrett in the end zone from 8 yards out with 6:03 left in the half.
Pilot Point dodged a bullet at the end of the half as Farmersville appeared to score on the final play but officials ruled that Anderson was past the line of scrimmage as he lofted the 26-yard pass into the end zone to Jaelon Clark.
Bailey hauled in a second touchdown catch that covered 57 yards with 5:51 left in the third quarter to bring Pilot Point within a point, 21-20. Jesus Orta’s extra-point missed the mark and Pilot Point couldn’t pull even then or later.