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Decatur stuns Hirschi, snaps losing skid in dramatic fashion

By Richard Greene | Published Friday, October 12, 2018.
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As soon as the ball hit the turf in the end zone on the fourth and goal from inside the one with just more than six minutes left, Decatur coach Mike Fuller already turned his attention to his next big decision.


“Right after my idiot brain decided to throw a pass on fourth down on the goal line, I apologized to the whole offense and told them it was my fault,” Fuller said. “I told them when we get the stop, we’ll go down, and we’ll go for two to make it up to you.”

Fuller delivered on the promise, keeping the offense on the field after pulling within a point with six seconds left.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Moments after catching the 3-yard touchdown pass from Roman Fuller, Beau Bedford hauled in the two-point try to give Decatur the stunning 22-21 victory over the No. 8 Wichita Falls Hirschi Huskies at Eagle Stadium in the 4-4A Division I opener.

“I knew we were going for it. We’re in it to win it. It happened to work out in our favor,” said Bedford, who finished with eight catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns.

“This is a huge win. We’ve been on a dry streak. Hirschi is a good solid team, 4-1, and they have Daimarque Foster, a TCU commit. We’re 1-0 in district and none of that preseason stuff matters.”

The win snapped a three-game losing streak that the Eagles were determined to break after a week off. Decatur (2-4, 1-0) made significant changes in personnel and strategy.

The Eagles abandoned the air raid offense, slowing down and working the clock.

“We huddled on offense. I haven’t called a huddle since 2005,” Fuller said. “We needed to slow it down, make the game shorter and give our defense a little bit of help.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

The strategy worked to limit opportunities for Foster and the high-octane Hirschi ground attack. Hirschi managed only nine possessions. While Hirschi rolled up 387 yards, Decatur made stops when needed.

Down by seven in the fourth quarter, Zane Hickey blocked a 29-yard field and then the Eagles forced a punt with 1:59 left in the game to get the ball back to the offense for the final drive.

“I couldn’t be prouder of those guys. They haven’t been who they can be this year,” Fuller said. “They have a lot of pride and were embarrassed. We did a lot more live stuff [in preparation]. We made some adjustments, loading the box and try to make them be one dimensional. Even at that, [Foster] is hard to tackle.”

Foster finished with 194 yards and two touchdowns. It was far less than the 581 yards and six scores he had last year in the regular season against Decatur.

Holding Foster in check just enough gave the Decatur offense the necessary last gasp from its 23-yard line.

Going into its customary fast-break attack, Roman Fuller marched the Eagles 77 yards on 12 plays to score and set up the winning two-point try. Fuller hit seven of 10 attempts for 59 yards on the final drive to finish 14-for-25 for 236 yards. He looked to Bedford four times, including the 3-yard touchdown.

“We practice every day in practice best on best — defense versus offense, two minute drill,” Bedford said. “We go through that every single day at practice. It was just a breeze going down and doing that. We worked on it all week, executed and it worked out great.”

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