Texarkana overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Little Rock McClellan 30-28 Friday at McClellan.
The Razorbacks pulled off the comeback by asking their two best offensive players -- quarterback Braylon Bishop and running back Torie Blair -- to do most of the work.
"When you get in tight situations, my philosophy is think players, not plays," Texarkana Coach Barry Norton said. "You want to get the ball in those guys' hands, and they did some good things."
Bishop and Blair received some unlikely help from sophomore Daequan Williams, who played one snap, early in the fourth quarter with the Razorbacks trailing 20-9.
Norton inserted Williams into the game, and Bishop threw the ball deep down the right sideline, where Williams caught the ball in stride for a 62-yard touchdown.
The play by Williams was his first and only as a varsity player.
"He can really run," Norton said. "He's been out with an injury. It's the only play he knows."
Williams' touchdown catch from Bishop, and Bishop's subsequent two-point conversion pass to Jalen Pastchol, made it 20-17 McClellan with 11:21 to play in the fourth quarter.
The Razorbacks (4-2, 3-1 5A-South) then recovered a fumble on the ensuing pooch kick and put the ball in the hands of its trusted junior speedsters, Bishop and Blair.
It was Bishop (2 touchdown passes) and Blair (120 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns) who led their team on a 12-play, 43-yard go-ahead touchdown drive, ending with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Bishop to Deiontae Jackson with 5:17 to play for a 24-20 advantage.
McClellan (4-3, 2-2) stunned Texarkana moments later after runs by Jeremiah Aikins and Kenneth McCardell Jr. moved the Lions to the Texarkana 48. Sophomore Quarterback Joshua Brown completed his first pass of the game, a 48-yard throw to senior Brandon Williams, and McClellan was back in front 28-24 after Brown's two-point conversion run with 3:14 to play.
That set up Texarkana's 10-play, 76-yard game-winning drive -- which relied on Bishop's running and throwing and Blair's elusiveness -- to take the lead for good on Blair's 5-yard run up the gut with 45.6 seconds to play.
"We're thinking players right now," Norton said. "How do we get the ball to those guys right now?"
For most of the night, McClellan dominated behind its big offensive line and the bullish running of Aikins -- who rushed for more than 100 yards and 2 touchdowns -- and the playmaking of quarterback Brown.
McClellan outgained Texarkana 216-109 in the first half and built a 20-9 lead.
"We played a real good first half of football," McClellan Coach Maurice Moody said. "We had them where we wanted them.
"It was one of those Moodyball-like ballgames. We controlled the line of scrimmage. We were physical. We just didn't finish. We've got to do better moving forward."
A key sequence occurred at the outset of the fourth quarter. McClellan was driving, but Aikins was cramping up so severely that he had to leave the game before a fourth and 3 at the Texarkana 36.
The Razorbacks stopped the Lions, then scored on the 62-yard pass play from Bishop to Williams on the next play.Gallery: HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Texarkana at Little Rock McClellan
"If we convert on that fourth down, we can probably ice the game there," Moody said.
Norton said he liked his team's chances with Aikins limping off the field.
"When he was laying down over here, I was saying, 'Please cramp the rest of the game,' " Norton said in respect to Aikins. "He's a great player. Great player. Coach does a great job with that team. They are hard to beat. We had a war with them last year, and we did again tonight."
Sports on 10/19/2019
Print Headline: Texarkana rides its dynamic duo