After a physical back-and-forth game against the Maypearl Panthers, the Whitesboro Bearcats took a huge 36-26 win to advance to the area round of the high school football playoffs.
Maypearl started the game with a lot of momentum as senior Tariq Massey took the starting kick off return 89-yards to the house. An early lead showed confidence in the Panthers’ offense, but the first sight of a decline happened in the very next play with a fumble on the snap for the point after attempt.
The second touchdown of the first half was another Maypearl score as senior Gunner Petty ran the ball into the end-zone. The Panthers went for a 2-point conversion just to come up short for extra points again.
Whitesboro picked up the momentum late in the first quarter with a rushing touchdown from senior quarterback Scout Sanders. The last score of the first half put Whitesboro ahead 21-12 after a huge fumble from Maypearl left Whitesboro on the 1-yard line.
Junior running back Brooks Barker easily ran the ball in to extend the Bearcats’ lead. After Whitesboro junior Noah Greisen leaps over the head of a standing defender and a failed Whitesboro field goal attempt, the first half closed out with the Bearcats leading 21-12.
The second half saw much more momentum and grit on both sides of the field and after Massey narrows the lead with a Maypearl touchdown, the next scoring chance didn’t come until Maypearl fumbled with 3:25 left to go in the third quarter.
After the Panthers’ senior quarterback Gunner Petty narrowly escaped a sack in the end zone, Maypearl fumbled the ball and Whitesboro recovered with first and goal on the 4-yard line and with senior Nolan Frith’s good 2-point conversion, the Bearcats took a 10 point lead.
With 8:43 left in the game, Whitesboro fumbled on a snap and as Maypearl came up with the recovery, it looked like it was going to be the start of a comeback. Just a few plays later Petty threw a long pass that was picked off by Whitesboro senior Bradley Klinger who took the ball 38 yards to the house extending the Bearcats lead 36-19.
Maypearl started making bigger plays as the clock ticked down into do-or-die time and Petty found senior Kenneth McGinn in the end zone for a 22-yard passing touchdown. It would bring the score within 10 points again at 36-26 after a good PAT, but with a failed on sides kick attempt and 12 seconds left in the game, Whitesboro took victory formation and won the game.
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