Bobcats 24-20 and We're No. 2!
BERRYVILLE -- A tongue-lashing at halftime by head coach Bobby Bishop turned the trick for the Berryville Bobcats last Friday night as they scored 17 third quarter points to defeat the Greenland Pirates 24-20.
With Prairie Grove a surprise winner over Gravette, the victory propelled the Bobcats into the No. 2 playoff spot from the 1-4A league. They will host Fordyce this Friday in the first round of the state playoffs.
"It was super, just unbelievable," Coach Bishop said later. "It's nice to be in the playoffs, playing a school from another place in the state, especially since they get to come here.
"The kids played hard, but I chewed some butt at the half and that third quarter was the best football we've played all year."
That chewing resulted after Berryville gave up two back-to-back touchdowns to the Pirates just before the half, leaving the Bobcats trailing 7-14.
But a rushing touchdown by Nehemias Lopez in the third quarter and two big interceptions by senior Andy Curry turned the tide the second half.
Curry's first interception resulted in a 33-yard field goal by Luis Ramirez, and the second a Stevin Williams quarterback sneak for six that made it 24-14 with 1:13 left in the quarter.
"Andy stepped up, made a couple of huge plays to spark us,"?Bishop said. "He hasn't played a lot of defense this year, but he's got great feet and hands."
Greenland kept fans and players breathless with a short field touchdown after a Bobcat punt was fielded at the 37. Greenland's Pryor cashed that in for six on a 5-yard run to make it 24-20 with 6:11 left in the game.
The Bobcats needed a first down so the clock could run, and David Jones got it with 4:34 on the clock. The Bobcats finally had to punt the ball back to Greenland, with Edson Recinos making the tackle at the Pirate 30 with 2:08 to go.
The Pirates faced a 4th-and-7 with 1:39, and the Bobcat defense held, forcing an incomplete pass and taking over at the 45 yard line.
Just then it was announced that Prairie Grove had beaten Gravette, so all Berryville had to do to be the No. 2 seed for the playoffs was run the final 1:30 out.
"I called a timeout and told the kids two snaps and we were the No. 2 seed playing at home,"?Bishop said. "There were some awfully happy young men. It was big for them."
They took the snaps, with Williams taking a knee twice. Williams had scored Berryville's first touchdown in the second quarter on an amazing 28 yard dash. Apparently smothered in a pile of players, Williams slid outside and went the distance to make it 7-0.
"Defensively, two guys, Drew Johnson and Nick Correia stood out. Drew made numerous plays. Tuesday I told Coach Brigance we hadn't had a big pass rush, so maybe we could use Nick and Trenton Garrett, our smaller, quicker guys.
"We worked on it and used it on third down or obvious passing downs. Justin Farnan at nose guard played well. On the line we had our little guys and they put the pressure on, played well.
"We had a nice crowd, vocal, especially late in the game. The crowd and the band were really in to it."
Team- BV- 43 rushes for 151 yds; 3/9 passing for 46 yds. Total- 197 yds. offense. GL- 260 yds, total, 13 of 28 for 198 passing.
Rushing- BV- Williams- 7 for 39 yds, 2 TD; Lopez- 25 for 59 yds, 1 TD; Jones- 10 for 34 yds; Ozzy Duarte- 3 for 19 yds. GL- Pryor- 19 for 74 yds.
Passing- BV- Williams- 3 of 9, 46 yds. GL- Morgan- 13 0f 28 for 198 yds.
Receptions- Curry- 4 yds; Geoff West- 33 yds; Jones- 9 yds.
Field goals- Luis Ramirez- 1 of 2, 32 yds,
Tackles- (solo/assist) Charlie Booth- 2/5; Jones- 3/3; Clint Morton- 1/4; Duarte- 3/1; Farnan- 0/4, sack; Ricky Gregory- 2/1, caused fumble; West- 1/1; Lopez- 0/2; Curry- 1/2, 2 Int; Drew Johnson- 1/2, fumble recovery, sack; Recinos- 1/0.