It took 36 carries and more than 200 yards from Fino Cardona.
It took 10-of-15 passing from Clay Barnett, and clutch catches by Joseph Tate, Xavier Kyle, Cameron Schulte and Cardona.
It took a recovered on-side kick, two blocked extra-point kicks, some clutch stops by a fatigued defense, and a tip and interception by defensive tackle Ryan Reed.
And it took a while.
The Boyd Yellowjackets (1-4) finally got their first win, opening district 5-2A play with a triple-overtime, 42-34 thriller over Bowie (2-3) Friday night on their home turf.
Like many of the fans, Head Coach Brandon Hopkins could barely talk after it was over.
“I hope this is the momemtum shift that we needed,” he rasped. “We’ve been playing hard, we just couldn’t get a break.
“We finally bowed our necks and made a big stop there in that third overtime, and did what it took to get the win. It was a big one for us.”
Despite being winless, the ‘Jackets have battled to the final buzzer in each of their first four outings – which included a double-overtime loss to Palmer in their second game.
In this one, perseverance finally paid off.
“We had a turnover, we threw that interception with two or three minutes left and it looked like they were going to go down and score,” Hopkins said. “Then they throw a screen pass and our defensive tackle picks it off.
“We go down, it looks like we’re going to score, and Fino’s just so tired, he didn’t have enough left.”
Then, after already logging 28 carries and 158 tough yards, Cardona reached back and found some more energy.
In the three overtime drives, he carried the ball eight more times for 58 more yards and scored all three of his team’s touchdowns. They needed every one of them.
“We just rode our horse,” Hopkins said.
After a scoreless first quarter it looked like it would be a low-scoring affair. Bowie drew first blood when big quarterback Garland McCoy ran it in from the three.
The ‘Jackets blocked the extra point, then came right back to score less than three minutes later.
Barnett threw back-to-back 21-yard strikes to Joseph Tate and Xavier Kyle to open the drive, then hit Cameron Schulte for 12 yards and another first down. Schulte scored on a nice leaping catch deep in the end zone and it was 6-6.
But Bowie stormed back to score 21 seconds before halftime on a four-yard plunge by Jay Ward. The extra point was blocked again, but the Jackrabbits led 12-6 at halftime.
Whatever Hopkins said at halftime worked, as the ‘Jackets executed a perfect on-side kick to open the third quarter. Two Cardona runs of 15 and 33 yards, and an extra-point kick by Nathan Thomas made it 13-12 just 36 seconds into the half.
Bowie’s next drive ended in a fumble, and Boyd scored again, this time on a 13-yard strike from Barnett to Tate. The two-point conversion made it 20-12 and it looked like the ‘Jackets would not look back.
But Bowie jumped on their horse, and a four-minute drive was powered by McCoy’s running. He scored both the touchdown and the two-point conversion to tie it at 20-20 with 2:47 to play in the third.
A scoreless fourth was marked by drives that ended in punts, lost fumbles and interceptions. Both teams had big plays called back by penalties, and Boyd had the ball at the Bowie 7 with 2 minutes to play.
A bad snap on a field goal attempt sent Barnett scrambling and he found Sonny McCarmack for a completion – but Bowie swarmed the runner and the game ended in a tie.
Neither team converted the PAT after scoring in the first overtime – first Bowie, then Boyd.
In the second OT, Boyd scored after good gains by Cardona and Barnett, then Qualynn Wells ran in the two-point conversion on a reverse to put the pressure on Bowie.
But they answered, as McCoy hit Levi Wallace for 17 yards, then bulled in from two out for a touchdown and repeated it for the PAT.
A big sack by Hunter Woodruff stuffed Bowie’s first possession in the third overtime, and Cardona carried four times to put Boyd in the end zone and the win column.
The ‘Jackets go to Pilot Point next week, attempting to go 2-0 in district play.
BOYD 42, BOWIE 34
Boyd … 0 … 6 … 14 … 0 … 6 … 8 … 8 … – … 42
Bowie … 0 … 12 … 8 … 0 … 6 … 8 … 0 … – … 34
Bowie – 8:34, Garland McCoy 3 run, PAT kick blocked.
Boyd – 5:42, Cameron Schulte 8 pass from Clay Barnett, kick failed.
Bowie – 0:21, Jay Ward 4 run, PAT kick blocked.
Boyd – 11:24, Fino Cardona 33 run, Nathan Thomas kick.
Boyd – 6:54, Joseph Tate 13 pass from Barnett; Thomas kick
Bowie – Levi Wallace 27 pass from McCoy, PAT run failed
Boyd – Cardona 25 run, PAT kick failed
Boyd – Cardona 6 run, Qualynn Wells PAT run
Bowie – McCoy 2 run, McCoy PAT run
Boyd – Cardona 1 run, Barnett PAT run
BOWIE … BOYD
First Downs … 18 … 20
Rushes Yards … 49-142 … 47-191
Passing Yards … 123 … 131
Total Yards … 265 … 322
Comp-Att-Int … 8-15-1 … 10-15-1
Punts-avg. … 3-40 … 4-31
Fumbles lost … 4-1 … 3-1
Penalties … 6-30 … 4-25
Rushing – Bowie, Garland McCoy, 18-50; Boyd, Fino Cardona 36-213
Receiving – Bowie, Levi Wallace, 5-68; Boyd, Joseph Tate, 3-48.
Passing – Bowie, McCoy, 8-15-1-123; Boyd, Clay Barnett 10-15-1-131.