Posted on 25 November 2014.
On a wet, sloppy day, in a game delayed three hours by lightning, the Boyd Yellowjackets came in as two-touchdown underdogs to Shallowater Saturday in Abilene.
That’s exactly how it ended, 49-35.
FATHERLY HUG – Boyd assistant coach John Basting gives his son, Jackson, a hug after his final game for the Yellowjackets. The senior wide receiver left it all on the field, making several highlight-reel catches as well as playing defense and nearly breaking a kickoff return. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting
Shallowater scored the first 21 points at Abilene’s Shotwell stadium, but the pesky Yellowjackets refused to go away, battling back behind quarterback Clay Barnett, strong running from Qualynn Wells and some highlight-reel plays by receivers Jackson Basting and Xavier Kyle.
Boyd fans have some highlight-reel plays to remember as they head into the winter.
The Mustangs’ opening drive took 15 plays and ran 7:35 off the clock, ending in a touchdown. Looking up into the rain, Boyd fumbled the ensuing kickoff and four plays later Shallowater was up 14-0 before Boyd’s offense walked onto the field.
The ‘Jackets got two first downs, but came up a yard short on a fourth-down play and the ball went back to Shallowater at the Boyd 46. It took them only two plays to score and it was 21-0 early in the second quarter.
From that point on, Boyd won the game – they just could not dig out of that early hole.
The Yellowjackets’ next drive was an epic 9-minute, 38-second, 22-play affair – including three fourth-down conversions. The long play was a 15-yard pass to Kyle. Barnett scored from four yards out to put Boyd on the board, but Spencer Pellegrini’s PAT kick was blocked.
Pellegrini recovered his own on-side kickofff, however, and the Boyd offense came right back on the field. But on the first play, Barnett’s pass bounced high off the receiver and was picked off – the first of three Shallowater interceptions on the night.
Boyd received the second-half kickoff, but a third-and-seven pass was intercepted by a diving Jake Johnson and the Mustangs took only four plays to make it 28-6.
As they would all night, Boyd battled back, scoring the next two touchdowns. The first came courtesy of some major heroics by senior receiver Jackson Basting.
After a seven-yard completion, officials tacked on 15 for a face mask penalty. Five plays later, on a fourth-and-10 at the Shallowater 42, Barnett launched a deep ball that Basting leaped for. Tipping it away from three defenders, he secured it, then spun and slashed his way into the end zone, dragging tacklers with him.
Barnett hit Judd Smith on the try and it was 28-14.
On the next Shallowater series, a big tackle by Basting helped force a punt and the Yellowjackets quickly launched a 7-play drive that featured an 11-yard run by Barnett, a 35-yard pass to Basting and a 14-yard slash up the middle by Wells.
Barnett scored from the 1 and the extra-point kick was missed.
Shallowater answered quickly, however, as Contreras found big receiver Preston Scaff for 50 yards. Running back Cooper Ogle scored from 7 yards out on the first play of the fourth.
The next Boyd drive faltered, but the defense got a stop and forced another Shallowater punt. Starting at their own 25, Boyd launched an 11-play drive highlighted by passes of 8, 13 and 37 yards to Kyle and a 14-yard completion to Judd Smith.
There were also, of course, two fourth-down conversions, including the scoring play in which Barnett put his head down and plowed defenders into the end zone.
Kyle made a spectacular catch for the two-point conversion, hanging onto the ball even though a vicious clothesline hit left him lying on the turf for a few minutes.
Boyd was back within a touchdown at 35-28 with 3:10 left in the game.
But two key plays, 17 seconds apart, put the game out of reach.
Shallowater fell on a short kickoff at its own 49, and Ogle finally broke free of the pesky Boyd defense for a 51-yard touchdown on the first play. His longest gain prior to that had been 12 yards.
After the Yellowjackets started again from their own 37, Shallowater’s Johnson picked off another Barnett pass and sailed untouched into the end zone. With 2:42 to play, suddenly it was 49-28.
But the Yellowjackets weren’t through.
After a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff for excessive celebration following the pick-six, Boyd’s Basting took a short kickoff and ran it back 30 yards, reversing direction, picking his way behind blockers to the Shallowater 36.
A few plays later, on – what else? – a fourth down, Barnett rolled left then threw back right across the field to Basting, who got to the 7 for a first-and-goal. On the next play, Barnett lofted the ball to Kyle who leaped at the back of the end zone and got his feet down for Boyd’s final touchdown with a minute to play.
Pellegrini’s kick put the final margin on the board.
Statistically, Boyd dominated the game, with 23 first downs to Shallowater’s 17 and 392 total yards to the Mustangs’ 288.
Wells rushed for 120 yards on 28 carries, but most of his yardage came up the middle as Shallowater’s pursuit prevented him from turning the corner and getting out into space.
Barnett’s passing filled the void, however, as he completed 14 of 22 for 222 yards. Basting had four catchs for 105 yards, Kyle had seven catches for 94 yards and Smith caught three balls for 23 yards.
Counting the on-side kick recovery, each side lost a fumble – but the three interceptions proved the critical difference for the Yellowjackets.
Shallowater, with an 11-1 record, moves on in the playoffs, while Boyd finishes its season 5-7.
LOOKING FOR SPACE – Speedy runner Qualynn Wells looks for an opening in the Shallowater defense Saturday. Wells gained 120 yards, most of it up the middle as the Mustangs worked hard to keep him from turning a corner. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting
SHALLOWATER 49, BOYD 35
Shallowater … 14 … 7 … 7 … 21 … – … 49
Boyd … 0 … 6 … 14 … 15 … – … 35
Shallowater, 4:25, Cooper Ogle 2 run, Sammy Mitchell kick
Shallowater, 2:51, Ogle 4 run, Mitchell kick
Shallowater, 10:59, Jake Johnson 10 run, Mitchell kick
Boyd, 1:21, Clay Barnett 4 run, kick blocked
Shallowater, 9:37, Johnson 16 run, Mitchell kick
Boyd, 6:45, Jackson Basting 42 pass from Barnett, PAT Judd Smith pass from Barnett
Boyd, 2:04, Barnett 1 run, kick failed
Shallowater, 11:56, Ogle 7 run, Mitchell kick
Boyd, 3:10, Barnett 1 run, PAT Xavier Kyle pass from Barnett
Shallowater, 2:59, Ogle 51 run, Mitchell kick
Shallowater, 2:42, Jake Johnson 37 interception return, Mitchell kick
Boyd, 1:00, Kyle 7 pass from Barnett, Pellegrini kick
SHALLOWATER … BOYD
First Downs … 17 … 23
Rushes/yards … 34/193 … 28/170
Passing yards … 95 … 222
Total yards … 288 … 392
Passes C/A/I … 3/3/0 … 14/22/3
Penalties/yards … 6/65 … 4/20
Punts/avg. … 2/48 … 0-0
Fumbles/lost … 1/1 … 1/1
Rushing: Shallowater, Cooper Ogle, 20/132, 4 TDs; Boyd, Qualynn Wells, 28/120
Passing: Shallowater, Chris Contreras, 3/3/0, 95 yards; Boyd, Clay Barnett, 14/22/3, 222 yards
Receiving: Shallowater, Preston Scaff, 2/59; Boyd, Xavier Kyle, 7/94, TD, Jackson Basting, 4/105, TD
DRAGGING HIM DOWN – Boyd linebacker Reece Jordan latches onto Shallowater ball carrier Cooper Ogle during Saturday’s area-round game in Abilene. Ogle rushed for 132 yards but got 51 of it on one carry late in the game. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting