Whitesboro knocks off Boyd on last-second score

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, November 9, 2018.
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As the clock bled inside 30 seconds Friday night, Whitesboro quarterback Scout Sanders dropped back and surveyed the field.

Needing a touchdown to give the Bearcats the lead, Sanders methodically went through each of his reads before finding Tryston Gaines streaking behind the Boyd secondary. The junior receiver leapt and made the catch, strolling 42 yards into the end zone.

The score and ensuing 2-point conversion gave Whitesboro a 32-28 lead with 22 ticks left on the clock.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

“Well, what happened was their quarterback had about 10 seconds to throw it,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “That receiver is pretty good and he just went up and made a play to get the score.

“[It was] two good teams playing each other, [and] it came down to the wire.”

Moments later, with Boyd trailing by four, senior quarterback Kody Risenhoover took a knee instead of frantically trying to get a last-second score.

The Yellowjackets had lost the battle, but they won the war.

Although they fell 32-28 at J.G. Cartwright Field at Yellowjacket Stadium, Boyd still finished as the second seed in District 4-3A Division I by virtue of a tiebreaker. The Yellowjackets had to win or lose by four or less to finish second, as Whitesboro, Boyd and Pilot Point ended the year 4-2 in league play.

“It’s one of those things I don’t think I’ve ever had to do, but it was the right thing to do,” Hopkins said of taking the knee. “We had to go 80 yards in 15 seconds and it didn’t make any sense to throw a Hail Mary in that situation.”

The 42-yard pass from Sanders to Gaines was Whitesboro’s only touchdown on the second half.

After trailing 24-14 at halftime, the Yellowjackets scored 14 straight points to take a 28-24 lead late in the third quarter. Boyd made two goal-line stands to turn the Bearcats away, stuffing Whitesboro on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and intercepting a Sanders pass.

“We got after them,” Hopkins said. “To hold that team to one touchdown in the second half is a heck of an accomplishment. It was pretty much the last play of the game. I’m proud of our kids. We fought our tails off and gave it everything we had, but we got down to the 1-foot line one time and don’t score and get inside the 20 and didn’t score. Against a team like that you have to take care of business.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Boyd started the game firing on all cylinders, as Risenhoover connected with King on a 32-yard seam route to give the Yellowjackets an early 7-0 lead. Hopkins then dialed up an onside kick and Boyd recovered, leading to a 10-yard Boone Eustace run.

The Yellowjackets’ offense started to sputter. Boyd turned the ball over on downs twice in the second quarter in the red zone.

On a fourth-and-goal from the 1, Risenhoover was dragged down from behind for a loss. On Boyd’s next drive, Risenhoover was sacked on third-and-goal and his fourth-down pass sailed over the head of Jason King.

He ended the game 10-of-21 for 172 yards and a touchdown through the air. He added 102 yards and two scores on the ground.

Boyd will play Eastland in the 3A Region I bi-district round next week. Hopkins said a date, time and location has not been set.

Risenhoover said even though they came up short Friday, he was looking forward to making a run in the postseason to close out his senior campaign.

“We had a lot of momentum and then they started coming back. We got down, but in the second half we come out strong and put some points up on the board,” Risenhoover said. “I’m very proud of the team. We got the job done and got the second seed so we can go farther in the playoffs.”

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