West can't fight off elimination against G-P
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NOTE: See more photos from Friday's game by clicking here.
PORTLAND - Victoria West knew a win against Gregory-Portland would bring the Warriors a spot in the playoffs, as long as Calallen defeated Victoria East.
Unfortunately, West couldn't hold up its end of the deal, losing 56-41 at Wildcat Field on Friday night.
"We tried to fight as much as we could," senior quarterback Garrett Rother said. "We made some mistakes and tried to come back from it and knowing the end result and knowing this is it, it's a complete downer and everyone on the team is feeling it."
In-town rival East fell to Calallen 77-27, but the loss in Portland ends the Warriors' season at 5-5 overall and 2-4 in district play. A loss didn't guarantee the end of West's season, but Beeville's victory over Tuloso-Midway was the opposite of what the Warriors needed to happen.
"We needed to win this game and that's how we looked at it," West head coach Leonard McAngus said. "Our kids fought their hearts out. We got a slow start again and couldn't catch back up."
Junior Devin Bisby wouldn't allow the Warriors the opportunity to pull off a fourth quarter comeback, scoring three of his five touchdown runs in the final 12 minutes of play. He finished the night with 281 on 23 carries and five touchdowns.
West fell behind 21-0 after the first quarter, but managed to fight back to a 28-28 tie headed into the fourth quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Bisby scored on a 50 yard run. West failed to move the ball past midfield on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to the Wildcats with nine minutes left to play. Two plays later, Bisby struck again on a 64 yard touchdown run that made the score 42-28.
"He's a great running back. He's powerful, strong and the heart of their team," McAngus said. "I wish he was a senior."
The Warriors responded with an eight-play, 53-yard drive that ended with a 1 yard touchdown run by Rother. Ernesto Perez missed his second extra point of the night to make the score 42-34.
Bisby struck again six plays later on a 17 yard run. He'd visit the end zone once more on a 22 yard run after West managed to cut Gregory-Portland's lead to just eight points on Qualian Bryant's 3 yard run.
Bryant scored three touchdowns in the final game of the season. Jacob Armstrong caught seven passes for 48 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wildcats looked as if they were poised for a blowout victory, scoring three times in the first quarter alone. Bisby ran for both of his first half touchdowns in the first quarter on runs of 17 and 10 yards. Gregory-Portland was able to pull ahead thanks to a pair of fumbles by Bryant and Gamarquis Girdy.
"They got two touchdowns out of those, and that was the difference in the ball game," McAngus said.
West's offense, which tallied over 300 yards of total offense a week ago, finally came to life in the second quarter on the legs of Garrett Rother.
"Knowing we were just shooting ourselves in the foot and we knew we had to go out and execute," Rother said. "We went back out there and were able to tie the score up."
Rother led the Warriors down the field on the first possession of the second quarter. West failed to break the goal line on four plays from within the five yard line. However, a defensive pass interference on fourth down gave West new hope and Bryant crossed the goal line on a 2-yard run.
West took advantage of a Bisby fumble on the ensuing drive and found the end zone on a 3-yard pass from Rother to Armstrong. They'd connect again on the last play of the third quarter that tied the score at 28-28.
"It just ended up not being there," Rother said. "Guys played great. They played hard. I'm very proud of all of the guys in there and out on the football field."