GUNTER — On Pilot Point’s first drive of the game Friday night, the Bearcats marched into Gunter territory with little resistance.
An offense that came into the game averaging 440.4 yards and 44.3 points looked the part, moving the ball almost at will.
But Pilot Point’s nine-play drive was quickly halted after failing to convert a fourth-and-2, giving the ball — and momentum — to the Tigers. The Bearcats never got anything going after that.
Gunter’s defense clamped down and held Pilot Point to just 128 yards for the remainder of the game, shutting out the Bearcats in a decisive 35-0 victory.
“They whipped us up front,” Pilot Point coach Danny David said. “It’s one of those things. They blocked and tackled better tonight. That’s why you get beat 35-0.”
The Bearcats only managed five first downs after their opening drive and were stymied for most of the night. Quarterback Jacob Pitts, who came into the game with seven touchdowns and 500 total yards of offense, was held in check throughout.
The senior threw for just 69 yards and also tossed two costly interceptions. Pitts’ first pick — a throw he made across his body on the run — was returned for a touchdown to put Gunter up 14-0.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Bridgeport, Krum or Aubrey, because they’re good football teams. But when you play a team that’s state-caliber and has been to the state semifinals three years in a row, you can’t make mistakes,” David said. “They’re going to take advantage of them. They don’t make mistakes and beat themselves, and that’s more or less what we did.”
Gunter led 21-0 at halftime and took the first drive of the second half 64 yards, capped with a two-yard touchdown run from Peyton Lowe.
Lowe scored three times for the Tigers and finished with 38 yards on the ground and 31 yards receiving. His only reception — a 31-yard slant over the middle — was Gunter’s final touchdown that put it up 35-0.
Pilot Point dropped to 3-1 with the loss.
The Bearcats have lost four straight meetings with the Tigers dating back to 2015 and have been shut out in their last two. Pilot Point returns home next week to open District 4-3A Division I play against Brock.
“We had a perfect opportunity to play with them and even beat them,” David said. “We didn’t come out and play. It looked like they wanted it a lot more than we did. We have to go back to the drawing board. We have to get a little more fight in our kids.”
Gunter 35, Pilot Point 0
GU — Clayton Reed 1 run (Logan Hubbard kick)
GU — David Denton 36 interception return (Logan Hubbard kick)
GU — Payton Lowe 30 run (Logan Hubbard kick)
GU — Payton Lowe 2 run (Logan Hubbard kick)
GU — Payton Lowe 31 pass from Mitchell Brewer (Logan Hubbard kick)
Rushing — GU: Bryson Rigsby 13-55, Saul Rodriguez 6-43, Ethan Sloan 7-39, Payton Lowe 7-38, Mitchell Brewer 7-27, Clayton Reed 7-21, Cooper Wade 1--1, PP: Javon Bruce 11-42, Ish Harris 6-17, Jacob Pitts 7-0.
Passing — GU: Mitchell Brewer 2-2-0-46, Payton Lowe 1-1-0-12, PP: Jacob Pitts 9-16-2-69.
Receiving — GU: Payton Lowe 1-31, Clayton Reed 1-15, Mitchell Brewer 1-12, PP: Jabari Anderson 3-27, Max Hollar 3-15, Aydon Cox 1-10, Javin Bruce 1-9, Avery Smith 1-8.