Indians mount late comeback, but fall to Pilot Point

Beau Bearden

Not many squads find the determination to overcome a 28-point deficit, especially midway through the third quarter.

The Plainview High School football team faced that predicament Friday night, but never threw in the towel despite its late rally coming up short in a 30-20 loss to Pilot Point at Massey Stadium in Texas.

“We’ve got enough offensive weapons that we aren’t going to be out of games,” said Indians head coach Joe Price. “It was just those turnovers that got us way down in a hole. Then we kind of had to battle out of it. I was proud of the kids for doing that.”

But Price was right, Plainview didn’t do itself any favors when it came to ball security, coughing it up three times – including two on back-to-back possession in the third quarter.

The Bearcats only capitalized on the second fumble, but it gave them a 21-0 advantage early in the third quarter and shifted the momentum away from the Indians.

“It’s just like what I told the kids – the No. 1 determining factor in winning a football game at any level is turnovers,” Price said of this postgame speech. “We obviously lost the turnover battle tonight. We went out and turned it over (two) series in a row to start the second half. Then we come back and play good defense and play really good in the fourth quarter.”

The defense did play stellar in the fourth, but Plainview’s turnaround started with 32 seconds remaining in the third quarter when quarterback Reis Taylor found Morgan Pearson open for a six-yard touchdown.

However, the extra point didn’t go as planned as Pilot Point blocked the kick and took it all the way back to its own end zone for two points. That was the last time the Bearcats would score though, as the Indians rattled off 14 unanswered points.

Taylor was an instrumental part of the fourth-quarter comeback - scoring on a 64-yard scamper at the 7:26 mark and then punching it in from 13 yards out with 54 seconds remaining in the game.

The junior finished with 119 yards on the ground and added 146 yards through the air to lead Plainview’s offense.

“I expect him to play that well,” Price said of Taylor. “He’s a good athlete and a very smart football player. He’s only going to get better as we go.”

Morgan Pearson should also get better as the season progresses and he's already proven to be Taylor's favorite target. The sophomore finished with seven catches for 135 yards and a touchdown.

“He’s very athletic,” Price said of Pearson. “He can go up and get the ball. He has good speed. He’s one of those guys who can go make a play every single time you throw the ball to him.”

Price also wanted to give credit to running backs Blue Norman, Caden Pickens and Hunter Young. The trio combined for nearly 100 yards on 12 carries.

But with all of the numbers aside, what matters most is notching victories and the Indians are focused on taking strides in the right direction. Plainview (0-1) looks to do just that when it hosts Tuttle (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4.

“We just have to continue to grow,” Price said. “Teams usually make a lot of progress in those first few weeks of the season. I expect us to be a lot better next week than we were this week, and the week following that. With us having so many new starters, if we can continue to get better in that fifth, sixth, seventh week of the season, I think there’s going to be a lot of growth as we go through this deal.”