Bobcats survive overtime, Eagles 27-21

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FORT SMITH -- "It was an emotional roller coaster,"?Bobcat coach Bobby Bishop said after his team (3-1, 1-0) needed an overtime to hand the unbeaten Union Christian Academy Eagles their first loss of the season last Friday night.

"It was an exciting game. We weren't ready to play, but we won," Bishop said. "The kids were flat, no emotion, and that's my fault.

"Union Christian (3-1, 0-1) came to play. They're pretty balanced and hit some timely passes. They were a whole lot better than we saw on film. In fact their quarterback, we hadn't seen him on tape at all."

The teams were tied 7-7 at the half and 21-21 at the end of regulation, then had four plays each from the 10-yard line to break the tie.

"We won the toss and took defense first," Bishop said. "Union had two penalties in a row, and we stopped them on fourth down.

"On our first down, Nehemias Lopez ran off tackle for nine yards, then carried one yard to win the game, 27-21,"?Bishop said.

Sounds easy, but it wasn't. Quarterback Jordan Parton re-sprained an ankle on the last play of regulation and couldn't go in the overtime.

He had scored all three touchdowns for Berryville on two 1-yard dives and a 10-yard bootleg, and was 7 of 13 passing for 158 yards with one interception.

That meant backup quarterback Matt Trulove's number was called, but he had taken a finger in the eye earlier and could see with only one eye due to swelling.

"In the overtime Matt was willing to go back in and handed off twice to Nehemias without a fumble," Bishop said. "Matt played a bunch of defensive positions and had an interception at our 2-yard line in the second quarter that saved a touchdown.

"It was an erie night. We lost Shane Kesler on the last play of the first half to an injury, Trulove got poked in the eye, and Parton re-sprained his ankle.

"The kids responded and handled adversity pretty well with people out. We had kids step up. It was the first overtime for this bunch,"?Bishop said.

Lopez had 38 carries for 168 yards and a touchdown in overtime, with Bishop saying, "He took a pretty good pounding. He's really developed the last two years."

Union Christian scored first in regulation on a 1-yard run at 7:45 of the first quarter to go up 7-0. Berryville answered with just 45 seconds left in the first quarter when Parton kept for 1 yard and Jorge Gil kicked the point after. Gil made all three extra points.

That score was set up by a 51-yard pass play to tight end Colin Judy, who made it inside the Eagles' 20.

"Our tight ends caught the ball well," Bishop said. " Cody Sanders caught three, Judy a long one, and Trenton Garrett one late.

It was tied, 7-7, at the half, then with 2:59 in the third quarter Parton scored on a 2-yard run and Gil added the point after to lead 14-7.

Union Christian answered as the third quarter clock ran out but missed the point after, leaving it 14-13, Berryville.

It looked like the Bobcats had clinched the win when Parton dashed 10 yards to score with just 3:15 left in the game, but the Eagles weren't done.

Leading 21-13, the Bobcats' Parton intercepted an Eagle aerial to stop that drive, but Berryville gave it back on downs and the Eagles scored with 1:32 left in the game and made a 2-point conversion to tie it at 21-all.

Game Stats

Rushing- Lopez- 38/168 yds., 1 TD in OT; Garrett- 6/18; Parton- 7/17, 3 TDs; Kesler- 1/2; Travis McBryde- 1/7. Team- 53/212.

Passing- Parton- 7/13 for 158 yds., 1 Int.

Receiving- Sanders- 3/64; Judy- 1/51; Garrett- 1/22; Trulove- 1/13; Kesler- 1/8.

Total Offense- 370 yds. on 66 plays.

Tackles- (solos/assists) Eric Acuna- 1/0; Kesler- 1/1, Int.; Trulove- 0/2, Int; Garrett- 3/3, Int; Parton- 2/0, Int; Lopez- 3/1; Nick Marlowe- 0/3; Justin Doss- 1/4; Weston Holman- 1/5; Chase Gott- 1/3; Michael Jones- 0/1, sack; Matt VanLandingham- 4/4; Justin?Goins- 1/0; Jeremy Wilson- 0/1.

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