BROWNWOOD — Not until the game’s final minute did the Stamford Bulldogs have the lead in Friday’s 2A DI bi-district game with Forsan at Gordon Wood Stadium.
It lasted for a grand total of 16 seconds.
Trailing 14-13 with under a minute to play, Forsan got the last word with a 63-yard touchdown strike from Cade Wallis to Brooks Wright and a subsequent two-point conversion run by Kevin Kilgora with 0:37 showing on the clock. The Buffaloes (9-2) then held on for a 21-14 win, advancing to face New Deal next Thursday in the area round.
Wallis threw for 96 yards and rushed for 65 to lead Forsan, which rushed for 201 yards as a team. Stamford was led by Hayden Henager, who rushed for 150 yards. The Bulldogs finished their season at 8-3.
The game’s key play, a deep fade route by Wright, wasn’t Forsan’s initial intention for the final drive. With strong-legged kicker Nolan Park having already booted a pair of field goals, the Buffaloes were going to attempt to reach the Stamford 30-yard-line for a potential game-winning 47-yarder. But with Stamford playing tighter coverage than expected, the Forsan staff elected to go deep and it paid off.
“We kind of hesitated to see what kind of coverage they were going to give us,” Forsan coach Jason Phillips said. “We thought they’d be a little bit softer and we were going to go underneath it and get out of bounds.
“Brooks is explosive and while they weren’t right on top of him, we knew he’d have a chance to get by them and make a play and he did. Our quarterback made a great throw and the line did a great job of protecting.”
For Stamford, the evening was largely an exercise in frustration.
The Bulldogs were hurt by multiple penalties, one of which wiped out a touchdown and others which erased multiple big plays. Trailing 10-0 midway through the third quarter, the Bulldogs finally got on the board with a 1-yard TD run from Christian Duran to cut the gap to 10-6.
“You can call holding on every single play,” Stamford coach Britt Hart said. “I just thought the penalties for them and for us (weren’t even).
“We should have done a better job as a staff in executing plays, but I didn’t think it was even.”
A Park field goal from 39 yards extended Forsan’s edge to 13-6 with 11:34 to play, but it left the door open for Stamford to tie the game or take the lead late. The Bulldogs did exactly that with 0:54 left when Vega scored on a 4-yard run. This was followed by a two-point conversion pass from Henager to Quinten Pryor to give Stamford its only lead of the game.
One play after the ensuing kickoff, Forsan was back on top with Wright’s TD reception down the right sideline.
“We had plenty of time,” Phillips said of the final drive. “Every time they kicked off to us we had good field position. We’re a run-first team and we like to ‘ground and pound’ but we’ve had explosive plays all year. We knew we had the chance to make one of those and our guys stepped up and did a great job.”
2a di bi-district
FORSAN 21, STAMFORD 14
FOR — Kevin Kilgora 4 run Nolan Park kick), 0:16
FOR — Nolan Park 23 FG, 9:06
STA — Christian Duran 1 run (pass failed), 4:27
FOR — Park 39 FG, 11:34
STA — Kaston Vega 4 run (Quinten Pryor pass from Hayden Henager), 0:54
FOR — Brooks Wright 63 pass from Cade Wallis (Kevin Kilgora run), 0:38
RUSHING — FORSAN, Kevin Kilgora 19-64, Grant Roman 11-72, Cade Wallis 12-65. STAMFORD, Hayden Henager 21-150, Nathan Watson 5-41, Kaston Vega 9-40, Cle Whitfield 2-3, Christian Duran 15-68.
PASSING — FORSAN, Wallis 6-9-1—96. STAMFORD, Duran 4-11-1—84, Henager 0-1-0–0, Case Beeson 0-1-0–00.
RECEIVING — FORSAN, Weston Layman 3-22, Hayden Bowlin 1-9, Bryson Kinsey 1-2, Brooks Wright 1-63, STAMFORD, Henager 2-30, Watson 1-30, Vega 2-44.
RECORDS — FORSAN 9-2; STAMFORD 8-3.