Wildcats fall to Pilot Point 14-13

By TREY HILL | News-Telegram Correspondent

Nov. 18, 2006 - GREENVILLE - The Rains Wildcats' football season came to an end Friday night with a 14-13 loss to the Pilot Point Bearcats in the bi-district round of the state playoffs at Cotton Ford Stadium. The Wildcats finish the season with a record of 8-3.

Turnovers played a key role in the game. For the Wildcats, it was scoring opportunities that were missed on turnovers. For Pilot Point, it was a second-half turnover that led to the winning touchdown.

The Wildcats opened the game with a 10-play scoring drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Derek Hurst. Hurst followed with the point-after kick for a 7-0 Wildcat lead.

Pilot Point quickly responded with a five-play scoring drive of its own to even the score at 7-7.

Rains was poised to retake the lead just before the end of the first half as they drove down inside the Bearcat 10-yard line. However, an errant toss led to a fumble which Pilot Point recovered to end the Wildcats' threat.

In the second half, Rains drove 70 yards on its first possession to retake the lead. Aaron Potts plowed into the end zone on a quarterback sneak to make the score 13-7. The try for the point-after kick failed when the ball fell short of the cross bar leaving a 13-7 score with 5:21 left in the third quarter.

The Wildcats looked as though they were going to take control of the game when Potts found Colby Hoover for a 55-yard completion; but while Hoover fought for extra yards the ball was stripped from his hands and Pilot Point took over on its own 18-yard line.

Pilot Point followed the turnover with a 14-play scoring drive that spanned the 82 yards. The drive was capped by an 8-yard touchdown reception by Drew Yonkers on a pass deflected by Errin Farley. Ricky Loftis added the point-after kick to give Pilot Point a 14-13 lead with 8:57 remaining in the game.

The Wildcats' hopes of retaking the lead came up short when they failed to convert on a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 at the Bearcat 10-yard line.

Mandel Christian ran for 137 yards on 20 carries to power the Rains' offense, which totaled 239 yards rushing.

Pilot Point quarterback Arthur Buckingham, who scored the Bearcats' first TD, completed 12-of-21 passes for 131 yards and also ran 11 times for 50 yards. Cooper Guthrie added 122 yards on 20 carries.

Rains-Pilot Point, Stats

Rains 7 0 6 0 - 13

Pilot Point 7 0 0 7 - 14

First Quarter

Rains – Derek Hurst 1 run (Hurst kick), 7:05

Pilot Point – Arthur Buckingham 1 run (Ricky Loftis kick), 6:04

Third Quarter

Rains – Aaron Potts 1 run (kick failed), 5:21

Fourth Quarter

Pilot Point – Drew Yonkers 8 pass from Buckingham (Loftis kick), 8:57

Rains Pilot Point

First downs 14 17

Rushes-yards 46-239 31-172

Passing yards 55 131

Total yards 294 303

Comp-Att-Int 1-4-2 12-21-1

Punts-Avg 2-33 5-29.8

Penalties-yards 6-35 2-18

Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0


RUSHING – Rains:Mandel Christian 20-137; Montrea Hobbs 7-44; Aaron Potts 10-32; Derek Hurst 8-25; Taylor Marshall 1-1. Pilot Point: Cooper Guthrie 20-122; Arthur Buckingham 11-50.

PASSING – Rains: Potts 1-4-1-55. Pilot Point: Buckingham 12-21-1-131.

RECEIVING – Rains: Colby Hoover 1-55. Pilot Point: Stuart Tilley 2-50; Adam McBride 4-36; Ethan Stuckly 2-20; Ricky Loftis 1-12; Drew Yonkers 1-8; Wes Ford 1-3; Jonathan Alejos 1-2.

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