Despite a frantic fourth-quarter push from Walker highlighted by a pair of trick plays, a late touchdown propelled Pineville to a 29-26 win on the road.
“That was just kind of a weird game,” Pineville coach Robbie Martin said. “Other than a couple of plays, our kids played hard all night, and I’m very proud of them.”
Trailing the Wildcats by four with 2:19 left in the game, junior running back Jarious Green took a handoff from quarterback Clayton Wider and plunged into the end zone for what proved to be the game-winning score.
“It felt really good to get this win,” Green said. “I’m just proud of all of my teammate for staying in the game and fighting through.”
It was Green’s second touchdown of the game. He finished with 54 rushing yards behind his teammate Landon King who posted a game-high 153 yards on the ground.
Walker was handed its second heartbreaking loss in as many weeks. With less than a minute left, the Wildcats had a chance to set up at least a field goal attempt, but a sack and lost fumble by quarterback Terry Bozeman ended it.
“You hate for him to end it like that,” Walker coach Dwayne Severio said of Bozeman, who threw for 188 yards and a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. “Just another wild football game at Walker, and we just ran out of time at the end.”
Bozeman’s favorite target was sophomore receiver Terrell Warner who had seven catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns. The second one came from a halfback pass for a 66-yard score to put Walker up 26-22 with just under nine minutes to go in the game.
“I was getting worried there for a second,” Martin recalled. “We’re in a three-deep coverage and they still found openings which was a little frustrating.”
The momentum swung in the Rebels’ favor almost as soon as the game started when its defense recovered a fumble on the third play from scrimmage. Senior running back Jammie Simmons took a pitch from quarterback Aaron Johnson and out ran everybody for a 20-yard touchdown.
Walker got on the board right before the end of the first quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run by Jacob Kennedy. The sophomore receiver motioned over to take the handoff from Bozeman and followed his blockers into the end zone. Kicker Chandler Frederick pushed the point after try wide left to the score at 7-6.
Early in the third quarter, the Pineville defense help setup its offense when cornerback Landon Weeks picked off a pass from Bozeman. A personal foul penalty brought it to the Walker 10-yard line and on the following play, Green took a toss to the left for the score, putting Pineville up 14-6.
Bozeman answered with consecutive completions of 32, 11 and 37 yards to set up a two-yard touchdown pass to Warner to make it 14-12.
“I thought we had our opportunities throughout the game to make some plays,” Severio explained. “We’re young guys and our kids are kind of learning on the run.”