Liberty Hill bumps Brady, 24-21, in overtime

Playing probably their best football game of the season, the Brady Bulldogs came within a whisker of obtaining their second win, but in the end it was Liberty Hill’s game as the Panthers took a 24-21 decision in overtime against the Dogs. “We at least had the opportunity to win,” Brady coach Davy DuBose observed after the game. “We were competitive and came back at the end to tie the game and force overtime. We had the opportunity to get the victory.” It was a close contest all the way. The Bulldogs scored first, then the Panthers came back, but missed the extra point. Brady went ahead midway through the second period on a sparkling 30-yard run for the TD. The Bulldogs led at halftime, 14-6. “But we did something that we’ve been doing all season. . .we didn’t play well in the third quarter, giving up 15-unanswered points,” DuBose said. Entering the fourth quarter, the Doggies trailed by seven points, 21-14. However, early in the final stanza, Tally brought his teammates back with a 22-yard scoring pass to Blake Raybion. The extra point knotted the game at 21-all. The Dogs had an opportunity to win in regulation, but Jody Jones’ 47-yard field goal attempt slipped wide to the left with just over four minutes left. Then in the overtime period, the Panthers took a three-point advantage with Tyler Kocuiba’s 20-yard field goal. The Bulldogs were stymied with a 15-yard pass interference penalty after getting a first down at the LH 14. On the next play from the 30, Tally completed a clutch 23-yard pass to tight end Zach Brown at the LH 7. On fourth down, Jones’ 23-yard game-tying field goal was just a touch right of the uprights, and Liberty Hill went home with their fourth victory of the season. Brady slipped to 1-7 on the season and 0-3 in district play “I felt overall that we played better than in recent games. Our offensive line played better, and I was proud of Tally. It was his first game back at quarterback since the Ballinger game four weeks ago. He ran the ball well and he completed seven of his nine pass attempts. He wasn’t able to throw real deep, but he was accurate in his passing.” “I also felt that our rally in the fourth quarter to tie the game was a positive for us. We had a good shot at the end. It was oh, so close. I was proud of the effort of the kids,” DuBose said. The Brady coach also cited the play of C.J. Villegas for making two fine catches, and Zach Brown for making two key receptions and playing well at defensive end. H Game summary: The Bulldogs kicked off to the Panthers to open the game. After one first down, Liberty Hill QB Ty Winstead fumbled (it was the game’s only turnover) at the Brady 45, and Blake Raybion recovered. Overcoming a 15-yard penalty and a four-yard loss on a running play, Tally, on third and 17 at the Brady 32, completed a 48-yard pass to Villegas that placed the ball at the Liberty Hill 20. Chris Airheart, Brady’s top rusher with 76 yards on 23 carries, made 14 yards in three running plays before Jeremy Shields got a tough yard. On third and goal at the five, Tally nailed Villegas with a five-yard scoring pass. Jones kicked the PAT, and the Dogs led, 7-0, with 5:14 left in the game. Using a stout running game, the Panthers pounced right back 62 yards in 11 plays for their first score. Shane Carr got the TD on a one-yard run. Tyler Kocuiba’s kick failed and Brady still led, 7-6, with 11:18 left in the first half. Showing a lot of spunk, the Dogs quickly marched 71 yards in nine plays to go up by eight. Big plays in the drive were a 15-yard run by Villegas and the scoring romp of 30 yards by Tally. He took off around right end, eluded a couple of defenders and scored. Jones added the extra point, and the Bulldogs led 14-6 with 6:42 left in the second quarter. Liberty Hill was hampered by a couple of 15-yard penalties on its next possession, but still managed to get into Brady territory. The drive bogged down and on fourth down Raybion broke up a Carr aerial and the Dogs took over on downs at their own 42. A holding penalty kept the Bulldogs from extending the lead, and on fourth down Shields punted out of bounds at the LH 29 as the half ended. Taking the second half kickoff, the Bulldogs were pinned deep by a holding penalty and Shields’ punt on fourth down from the 10 gave Liberty Hill the ball at the Brady 35. A holding penalty against LH on first down pushed the Panthers back a bit, but the team covered the 45 yards in only six running plays. A couple of nifty runs by Calvin King on the inside reverse and a 17-yard scamper by Winstead placed the ball at the 10. Two plays later King dashed across the goal from the seven. Winstead passed to Carr for the all-important two-point conversion, and the game was tied at 14-all with 6:14 left in the third period. A penalty and a QB sack by Liberty Hill again pushed the Bulldogs back near their goal line on their next possession following the kickoff. On fourth down Shields’ 35-yard punt was fielded by King, who handed off to Carr on the reverse and the big back hammered down to the Brady 13 on a 39-yard punt return. Shields sacked Winstead for a four-yard loss on first down, but on the next play Winstead completed a 12-yard pass to King to the Brady 5. Winstead carried for three then Carr got the go-ahead TD on a two-yard run. Kocuiba kicked the point, and the Panthers got their first lead at 21-14 with 1:23 left in the third quarter. On Brady’s possession, Tally passed to Gabriel Bernal on second down for a 15-yard play then Tally carried for four yards as the third period expired. After Airheart got a yard, Tally connected with Zach Brown on a 33-yard pass play to the LH 24. Two plays later Tally and Raybion got together on a 22-yard scoring pass for the touchdown. Jones kicked the PAT, and it was knotted up again, this time at 21-21 with 10:05 left in the game. The Panthers couldn’t move the ball on their next possession and were forced to punt for the first time in the contest. Villegas got the 34-yard punt on the Brady 25 and returned it 35 yards to the LH 40. Airheart got a first down on three tough running plays, but two more running plays and an incomplete pass made the Bulldogs face a fourth down at the Panther 30. Jones’ 47-yard field goal attempt was long enough, but sailed a bit wide to the left. The score remained tied at 21 with 4:34 left in the game. Winstead got the Panthers into Brady territory on a 24-yard run on the second play following the missed field goal, but the Bulldogs defense stiffened, and the Dogs took over on fourth down at their own 35 with 2:19 left in regulation. Neither team got into scoring position as the game ended and the officials got ready for overtime. Liberty Hill placed all their money on the running game and it almost paid off with a touchdown. King dented the Bulldog defense on a third and four play with a 12-yard run to the Bulldog 7. After Winstead got three on first down to the 4, Casey Long blasted Winstead for no gain. The lick sent the Panther quarterback to the sidelines. Carr carried for a yard to the 3 on third down then Kocuiba came in and booted a 20-yard field goal that put the Panthers up by three at 24-21. The Bulldogs were intent on running the ball. Three running plays and the Dogs were facing a fourth and one at the 16. Tally got the first down with a yard to spare, but after a yard loss by Tally, the Dogs were flagged for pass interference that moved the ball back to the 30. That’s when Tally and Brown hooked up for a 23-yard pass play that reached the 7. The Dogs were still shy of the first down by three yards. On third down Airheart could manage only a yard and that brought up the tying field goal attempt that unfortunately was a bit to the right of the uprights. “Jody pulled the 47-yard attempt earlier and he must have over compensated this time and ended up pushing the tying goal,” DuBose said. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Bulldogs, but they have an opportunity to get a win in Ingram Friday night in the season’s ninth game.

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