Cats' line pushes way to 25-23 win
By Richard Greene Assistant Editor
The Pilot Point Bearcats rallied behind the group they expect to lead them Friday night in the second half: the offensive line.
The veteran unit allowed the Bearcats to control the ball for more than 15 minutes and chew up 198 yards in second half in a 25-23 come-from-behind win over Little Elm at Massey Stadium.
"They played a lot better in the second half," said Pilot Point coach G.A. Moore. "I was proud of the second half effort. The line blocked a lot better and led the way."
The Pilot Point offensive line, which returned three starters from last year, allowed the Bearcats to gain a total of 260 yards, including 218 on the ground. Jarail Johnson led the Pilot Point ground game with 99 yards on 22 carries and touchdown. Grant Guthrie finished with 71 yards on 20 carries with two scores.
The Pilot Point offensive line's best work came on the Bearcats' final three drives, including two that ended in touchdowns and the other ran out the clock. The line paved the way on an 11-play, 78-yard drive that gave the Bearcats an 18-17 lead with 33 seconds left in the third quarter. The line topped that effort, pushing Little Elm backward on a 15-play, 96-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard Johnson touchdown run with 4:21 to play.
The Bearcats line's effort would not have been enough without two second half defensive plays: Michael Yarnell's fumble recovery of an errant Little Elm pitch from backup quarterback Jason Moore at the 10-yard line in the third quarter; and Johnson's jarring of the ball away from Little Elm's Thomas Stauts on the tying two-point pass attempt with 3:05 left in the game.
Even larger for the Bearcats was a kickoff return by Blake Feagins at the end of the first half.
Little Elm put together three straight scoring drives to start the second quarter, taking a 17-3 lead with 3:05 left in first half after a 33-yard MacKenzie McClelland run. On the ensuing kickoff, Feagins returned the ball 65 yards to give the Bearcats the ball at the Little Elm 14-yard line after the return and an additional five yards for a penalty against the Lobos.
The Bearcats scored four plays later, trimming the halftime deficit to 17-11 and took some momentum into the locker room.
"We needed something like that," Moore said. "That put us back in the game. Blake plays hard and does a good job."
Feagins finished the game with two returns for 75 yards. He rushed for 37 on six carries.
Little Elm finished the game with 284 total yards against the Pilot Point defense. Stauts, who entered the game with 112 yards for the season, led the way for the Lobos. Stauts rushed for 134 yards on 18 carries. Stauts scored on runs of 20 and 14 yards.