Panthers miss last-second FG attempt, fall to Groesbeck Goats, 24-21

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Bullard Panthers 21, Groesbeck Goats 24, FINAL

BHS:    0  14  7  0  -  21

GHS:    8  3   0  13  -  24

The Bullard Panther varsity football team returned to action on the gridiron last week, as the team loaded the bus and traveled for a non-district battle against the Groesbeck Goats Friday, Sept. 8, at Groesbeck High School.

In the first quarter, the Panther offense had a tough time beginning the contest, as the Goats' defense was able to pick off Panther senior quarterback Cleet Bowman three times.

The Goats were able to find their way into the end zone for the first score of the ball game in the opening quarter, scampering their way down field for a 63-yard rushing touchdown. After the score, the team's coaching staff elected to attempt a two-point conversion, which was successful, allowing Groesbeck to lead Bullard, 8-0.

Not to be outdone, the Panthers were able to light up the scoreboard in their favor during the second quarter of play, as senior wide receiver Ty Crayton prowled his way down the field on a 78-yard touchdown reception from Cleet Bowman. The Panthers' extra point attempt by senior kicker Will McCowin sailed through the goalposts, as Bullard closed the deficit against Groesbeck, trailing 8-7.

The Panthers' offense continued to find success in moving the ball downfield during the second quarter, setting up a three-yard touchdown run from senior running back Luke Bowman. McCowin's extra point kick was successful, giving Bullard a 14-8 advantage over Groesbeck.

Just before the halftime intermission, the home team Groesbeck tacked on three points to their score thanks to a field goal attempt, as the Panthers headed into the locker room leading the Goats, 14-11, at halftime.

After returning to the field for the second half of play, Bullard found its way into the end zone for the third time in the contest during the third quarter, as the legs of sophomore quarterback Tristen Shewmake outran the Goats' defense en route to a 40-yard rushing touchdown. Once again, McCowin successful provided the Panthers with the extra point kick, as the Panthers pulled away from the Goats, 21-11.

The Panther defense was able to come up big for the visiting team during the third quarter, recovering a total of three fumbles by Groesbeck and giving Bullard extra offensive possessions.

In the fourth quarter of play, the Goats capitalized on their ability to move the ball downfield against the Panthers, running the ball into the end zone for a two yard rushing touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt by Groesbeck failed, as Bullard led Groesbeck by a smaller score, 21-17.

Groesbeck continued to find their way around the Panther defense later in the final quarter, as the Goats' quarterback found an open receiver for an 18-yard touchdown score. Instead of attempting a two-point conversion, the Goats' coaches decided to kick an extra point attempt, which was successful, giving Groesbeck a narrow edge over Bullard, 24-21.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the Panthers were faced with a fourth and goal situation from the Goats' two-yard line. As the clock counted down, the Panthers used a timeout to stop time with two seconds left, electing to attempt a field goal and send the game into overtime. However, the Panthers were unable to successfully convert the field goal, as the Goats defeated the Panthers, 24-21.

At the quarterback position, Cleet Bowman completed 18 of 26 attempts for 276 yards and one touchdown, while throwing a total of three interceptions. Shewmake connected on two of his five passes in the contest for a total of nine yards passing.

The Panthers' rushing unit was led by the legs and strength of Luke Bowman, rushing the ball on 10 attempts for 70 yards and one rushing touchdown.

Other significant rushers for the Panthers against the Goats included Shewmake, with one attempt for 29 yards and one rushing touchdown; and senior wide receiver Cade Duvak, with three rushes for two yards.

Senior wide receiver Ty Crayton led the Panthers' receiving corps with a total of six receptions for 165 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Other significant receivers for the Panthers against the Goats included junior wide receiver Colton Bowman, with five catches for 48 yards; Luke Bowman, with one catch for 24 yards; senior wide receiver Jagger Haynie, with two catches for 17 yards; McCowin, with three catches for 12 yards; and sophomore wide receiver Jaxson Elliott, with one catch for 11 yards.

Defensively, the Panthers were led by the strong play of junior defensive back Landry Lasseter, contributing a total of seven tackles and two assists.

Other key defensive players for the Panthers against the Goats included senior linebacker Brody Mullican, with six tackles, three assists, and one tackle for loss; Luke Bowman, with five tackles and two assists; senior linebacker Thomas Brooks, with five tackles and one assist; junior linebacker Steven Hibbard, with five tackles, two assists, one sack, and one tackle for loss; junior linebacker Reece Rickets, with three tackles and two assists; senior defensive lineman Kele Leachman, with two tackles and two tackles for loss; and junior defensive lineman Dakota Walsworth, with two tackles and two assists.

With the loss to the Groesbeck Goats, the Bullard Panther varsity football team currently stands with an overall record of 0-2 on the 2017 season.

Next game: Friday, Sept. 15 - Bullard (0-2) at Brownsboro (1-1). 

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