BORGER – The Pampa Harvesters (2-4) had scores from both of the Hill boys and sophomore running back Makai Boyce as they rallied late in the second half from a 12-point deficit to knock off their long-time rivals the Borger Bulldogs (3-3).
The win ends a four-game losing skid, which comes at just the right time as the Harvesters wrapped up non-district play.
“Those are the kind of games I love,” Head Coach Cody Robinson said. “Our players, our kids, they do a great job in situations like that. We’ve been doing a lot of talking about being resilient. That is something athletics can teach you. They’ve taken bumps, bruises, bone-breaks, dislocations, etc. In football, when that happens it happens all at once.
“We make some silly young mistakes with ball security and special teams. There was one particular play that could have taken the wind out of us. But none of the players, or the coaches, even thought about it. They kept competing.”
The Harvesters found themselves in 14-0 hole, but found some momentum at the start of the third quarter after a 32-yard run into the open field by sophomore Makai Boyce moved the Harvesters into the Bulldogs’ redzone. Sophomore quarterback Jarren Hill moved the chains three plays later with a nine-yard carry. Two plays later J. Hill punched it in. After the extra point by Jerimiah Davis, Pampa made it a one-score game, 14-7, with 8:17 left in the first half.
The Harvesters defense carried the momentum with a three-and-out on the ensuing Bulldog drive, forcing a three-and-out.
The Harvesters offense set up shop at the Pampa 43-yard line with 7:01 left in the half and wasted little time getting the ball moving. J. Hill took advantage of a free play from an offside penalty, finding junior wideout Bryce Lynn on the far sideline for a 44-yard catch-and-run. Two plays later, J. Hill punched it in from two yards out for the touchdown. After the Davis extra point, it was 14-14 Pampa with 5:12 2Q.
The Harvesters forced a three-and-out from Borger on the following Bulldog drive, forcing the punt and the Harvesters setting up shop just past midfield at their own 46-yard line.
Boyce took the ball and made quick work of this scoring drive with a 54-yard touchdown run. After the Davis extra point it was 21-14 with 3:15 left in the first half.
“I’m proud of that kiddo, too (Makai Boyce),” Robinson said. “He’s overcome some adversity himself and has worked over the last three months to do things the right way. He earned his opportunity back on the field. He could have put his head down on that fumble, but he responded.”
The teams traded offensive possessions with no points in the waning moments of the first half and the Harvesters went into the locker room having scored 21 unanswered points.
Borger took hold of the momentum in the second half, until the 7:05 mark of the fourth quarter, when Pampa set up shop at their own 25-yard line. Three plays into the drive, senior quarterback Brant Hill found Lynn for 17 and a fresh set of downs. Facing a third and long, Hill found Lynn to move the chains again for another first down. Two plays later, Lynn hooked up with junior receiver Judsen Hancock, who took the catch for 38 yards, moving Pampa within a dozen of the endzone. Two plays later, B. Hill connected with sophomore receiver Jose Alonzo. After the Davis extra point, Pampa trailed 33-28 with 4:10 left in the game.
After converting the onside kick, Boyce took the first carry half the distance of the field for 48 yards, setting Pampa up at the Borger 11-yard line. Three plays later, Boyce finished what he started as he punched it in for the touchdown. After the failed two-point conversion, Pampa led 34-33 with 2:40 left in the game. The Harvesters held on to that lead for our final: Pampa 34, Borger 33.
The Harvesters return to action next week as they open District play against the Hereford Whitefaces.
“We ain’t overlooking anybody. We’ve got to look over the Harvesters,” Robinson said. “We made a ton of mistakes that we need to address. These kids respond well to ‘Mean’ Coach Rob, so we’re going to go back tomorrow, watch film, come back Monday and do up-downs for every penalty and probably some extra for that first quarter. But that’s the beautiful thing about football, every week you get to start over.”
• Brant Hill went 10-12 for 104 yards and a touchdown; Jarren Hill went 1-4 for 44 yards.
• Makai Boyce had 21 carries for 216 yards and two touchdowns; Jarren Hill had nine carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns; Bensin Martinez had two carries for 17 yards and Aaron Diaz had a two-yard carry.
• Bryce Lynn had six catches for 89 yards; Judsen Hancock had two catches for 38 yards and Jose Alonzo had two catches for 17 yards and a touchdown grab.
• Jerimiah Davis went 4-4 on extra points.
Other District Scores
• West Plains 42, Hereford 21
• Canyon 35, Andrews 14
• Dumas 27, Austin 7
• Canadian 69, Randall 28