BEDFORD — Trailing Brock by 10 late in the third quarter on Friday night, Pilot Point marched down to the Eagles’ 11-yard line and looked poised to cut into their lead.
On second-and-1, Jacob Pitts dropped back and surveyed the field, but his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Pitts wound up catching his own pass for a 16-yard loss, forcing the Bearcats to attempt a 40-yard field goal they ultimately missed.
The unorthodox play highlighted a tough night for Pilot Point’s offense, as the Bearcats fell to Brock 31-21 in the Class 3A Division I Region I final at HEB ISD’s Pennington Field.
“It hurt,” Pilot Point coach Danny David said of the fluky play. “Jacob is one of the smartest football players we’ve got. He understands football. But it is kids playing a game. He reacted to it, and it is what it is. We had to try a field goal instead. It would have been 24-21 if we could have punched it in there. But our kids kept fighting and I’m extremely proud of them.”
Pilot Point was held to just 235 total yards, its lowest total since getting shut out by Gunter on Sept. 20. The Bearcats only managed 63 total yards and four first downs in the first half and scored just two offensive touchdowns on the night.
Brock stuffed Pilot Point’s usually-potent ground game, holding the Bearcats to just 30 rushing yards.
“We were having a hard time running,” David said. “They were really quick and very athletic up front. We had to use our athletes on the outside with our quick passing game. They tackled and blocked better than we did tonight, and that’s normally who wins the game.”
Pilot Point fell behind 17-0 late in the first half but got on the board when Jay Cox returned a kickoff 79 yards. The Bearcats’ defense then got the ball back and Pitts plunged in from a yard out to trim the deficit to 17-14 at halftime.
But Brock scored 14 straight points in the second half and took a 31-14 lead with 5:29 left.
“I thought we did [flip momentum],” David said. “We were feeling good knowing we got the ball to start the second half. Well, [then] we got a penalty and got behind the chains. We got behind the chains way too much tonight.”
The loss snapped Pilot Point’s nine-game winning streak dating back to Week 5. The Bearcats’ 20-14 win over Brock on Sept. 27 sparked their run, which propelled them into the region final for the first time in a decade.
Pilot Point finished the year 12-2 overall, winning its first district title since 2009.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” David said. “That’s what is bad about these playoffs. If you don’t win a state championship, your last game is a loss. These guys have a lot to be proud of. They need to keep their heads high. They’ve done a lot of good things. It just didn’t come out the way we wanted it to tonight.”
Brock 31, Pilot Point 21
BR — Cash Jones 32 run (Tatum Saathoff kick)
BR — Nathan Jones 4 pass from Jaxon Gleaton (Tatum Saathoff kick)
BR — Tatum Saathoff 27 FG
PP — Jay Cox 79 punt return (Omar Trejo kick)
PP — Jacob Pitts 1 run (Omar Trejo kick)
BR — Jesse Hallmark 20 pass from Jaxon Gleaton (Tatum Saathoff kick)
BR — Myles Semas 3 run (Tatum Saathoff kick)
PP — Javin Bruce 14 pass from Jacob Pitts (Omar Trejo kick)
Rushing — BR: Cash Jones 37-221, Logan Lightfoot 3-14, Myles Semas 4-14, Jaxon Gleaton 7-10, Luke Dillingham 2-9, PP: Jacob Pitts 15-39, Javon Bruce 5--9.
Passing — BR: Jaxon Gleaton 6-9-0-89, Cash Jones 1-2-0-12, PP: Jacob Pitts 17-28-1-205.
Receiving — BR: Jesse Hallmark 4-77, Cash Jones 1-13, Tyler Riddle 1-7, Nathan Jones 1-4, PP: Javin Bruce 5-77, Max Hollar 4-51, Aydon Cox 2-42, Jay Cox 1-22, Javon Bruce 3-15, Jabari Anderson 1-14, Jacob Pitts 1--16.