Decatur wins shootout, edges Alvarado

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, September 7, 2018.
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Backed up to their own 10-yard line and trailing Alvarado by one with under three minutes remaining, Roman Fuller and the Decatur offense took the field Friday night.

Fuller had already thrown for six touchdowns in a game that featured seven lead changes, and he only had one thing on his mind.

“Score,” he said.

The Eagles did just that.

Fuller led Decatur on a 90-yard drive, throwing a 20-yard strike to Beau Bedford that allowed the Eagles to escape with a 48-41 victory. The touchdown grab was Bedford’s second of the night, as the senior hauled in 10 catches for 147 yards and two scores.

“I felt like I needed to step up as a senior on this team, especially after getting scorched last week like that” said Bedford of his performance. “I think this brings us up to a whole new level. Getting beat like that by Kennedale really set a fire under us. We really put in the work and I think we deserved it tonight.”

After being held to under 200 yards of total offense in a 55-7 loss to Kennedale last week, Decatur responded with 576 yards against Alvarado.

Fuller went 37-of-46, completing 80 percent of his passes with no interceptions and seven touchdowns.

Decatur coach Mike Fuller said he was proud of the way Roman bounced back after throwing five interceptions in last week’s loss.

“To have the start he had last week with as rough of a stat line as you can have — knowing it’s a team game and it isn’t all on one player — that’s a lot of pressure on a kid,” he said. “That’s a great way to follow up a five-interception game, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions.”

Fuller threw touchdown passes to five different receivers, methodically leading Decatur on several drives to keep them in the game. Alvarado regained the lead twice in the second half, and each time they did, Fuller marched the offense down the field.

His 16-yard dart to Dayne Chapman gave the Eagles a 40-35 lead with 9:50 left in the fourth quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, Alvarado quarterback Josh Syrus went over the top on play action, connecting with Jake McCullough on a 51-yard touchdown pass to give the Indians the lead at 41-40.

“What really made me proud was we just kept taking punch after punch and kept giving punch after punch,” Coach Fuller said. “We kept living for the next play.”

Decatur improved to 1-1 on the year. It is the fifth time in the last six meetings between the Eagles and Indians that the outcome was decided by a touchdown or less.

“That’s what I love the most about these guys,” Coach Fuller said. “After what happened to us last week, to compete and be in a game, that takes some fortitude — just to put it behind you.”

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