Garrett, Cats rally past Chaps
By Richard Greene
Pilot Point quarterback Travis Garrett noticed the Aubrey safety cheating in on the shorter passes as the Bearcats’ marched down the field trying to rally from a one-point deficit in the final minutes Friday.
He then gave sophomore receiver DaCoven Bailey simple instructions — go to the end zone.
“I’d been throwing to Creed [Bright]. I told him, ‘watch, the safety is going over, and to run your rout to the back of the end zone,’” Garrett explained. “He was wide open. But it was an unbelievable wind from God that got it there and I’m thankful.”
Bailey hauled in the floating pass from 23 yards out with 28 seconds left to complete the Pilot Point Bearcats’ comeback in the 28-21 victory over the rival Aubrey Chaparrals.
It was the Bearcats’ first win over Aubrey in three years.
“It feels amazing. Aubrey is a great opponent and great rivalry for us,” Garrett said. “It’s great going into district like this.”
Garrett ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 84, completing nine of his 16 passes.
Pilot Point enters District 5-2A Division II play next week against Callisburg at 2-2.
“The momentum we’ll carry over you can’t put a value on,” said Pilot Point coach Rob Best.
Aubrey, who was seeking its first three-game winning streak over Pilot Point, fell to 1-3.
“We wanted it. We wanted to be the first team to beat Pilot Point at home,” said Aubrey linebacker Chancey Hull.
Aubrey looked to be in position for the win after scoring on a brilliant play-action pass from Mason Robinson to a wide-open Calvin Stang from 18 yards out with 2:51 left. The pass capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive. An Evan Moore extra-point gave Aubrey the 21-20 lead with 2:51 left.
Robinson finished 10-for-16 for 142 yards.
After taking over at his 24, Garrett was sacked on first down for a 7-yard loss. But Aubrey was called for a personal foul at the end of the play giving Pilot Point a first down.
“That personal foul was the biggest play,” said Aubrey coach Mike Segleski. “We were about to be second and 17 after the sack and then that personal foul happens. It changed the situation.”
Garrett then hit five straight passes and ran for eight yards to get Pilot Point to the Aubrey 24.
“When they scored with three minutes left, we felt we had a chance,” Best said. “We’d been moving the ball and chosen not to throw the ball down field because our running game was adequate.
“We got in sync. A lot of that was site-reading and Travis taking what the defense gives him.”
After Tristan Jurecka was stopped for a 1-yard gain to the 23, Garrett connected with Bailey on the deep rout to put the Bearcats ahead.
“That was a sight read. They were jumping the short rout and Travis looked off the safety and went to DaCoven down field,” Best said. “It was a great play. It’s what you expect from Travis.”
Bright ran in the two-point try to put Pilot Point up by 7.
Aubrey drove into Pilot Point territory in the final seconds. On the final play from the Pilot Point 30, pressure got to Robinson. He tossed the ball to an ineligible lineman out of desperation as time ran out.
The Bearcats’ rally in the final minutes was their second of the game.
The Aubrey defense gave its offense a short field three times in the first half and the Chaparrals converted the opportunities into a 14-0 lead.
After recovering a fumble at the Pilot Point 30, the Chaparrals needed just three plays to get a Sam Heath 2-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Aubrey’s Moore dropped a punt at the Pilot Point 2. The Aubrey defense then forced a three-and-out. After only a 24-yard punt by Pilot Point's Travis Garrett, the Chaparrals had the ball at the 38.
Aubrey couldn’t take advantage of the chance with the short field as Pilot Point’s Lucas Greenwood sacked Robinson on third down for an 11-yard loss.
But after touchback on a Moore punt, the Aubrey defense sacked Garrett twice. After only a 15-yard punt, Aubrey took over at the Pilot Point 24. Two plays later, Clay Kelly found pay dirt on a 5-yard carry to make it 14-0 with 5:28 left in the first half.
After a fumble and four punts on its first four possessions, Garrett finally got the Bearcats offense moving just before half. With Garrett carrying the ball nine of the 12 plays for 64 yards, the Bearcats went 75 yards to cut the Aubrey lead in half. Garrett went the final 5 yards on a quarterback draw on third-and-goal.
Pilot Point scored on four of its final six possessions with Garrett doing the bulk of the damage. He ran for 124 yards on the six possessions.
“They found an answer for what we were doing, and we never found the answer to stop it,” Segleski said. “From [late in the first half] on, we couldn’t stop Garrett. We did a good job against Bailey and Jurecka, but Garrett was the one we couldn’t find an answer for.”
Pilot Point tied the game with a 1-yard run by Jurecka on the first play of the fourth quarter, capping an 11-play drive.
The Bearcats then took the short-lived lead, 20-14, with Garrett’s second run to paydirt with 7:56 remaining. That completed a 94-yard drive that included a 59-yard run from Jurecka and 29-yard dash from Garrett.
But the Bearcats would need even more Garrett magic to earn the win and bragging rights.