SPRING HILL – The craftsmanship, and quick decisions of Bullard quarterback, Tristan Shewmake, along with some great defense led by linebacker, Caden Key, led to a 36-28 win over Spring Hill in the ‘Battle of the Panthers’ on Friday night.
The Bullard senior, Key made a big 11-yard sack to end the first Spring Hill possession, and his later fumble recovery stopped the second Spring Hill drive. The Bullard defense bent, but did not break with two more fourth-down stands in the second half, while Shewmake almost flawlessly orchestrated the offense.
Spring Hill finally put together a quick three-play scoring drive as the quarter expired.
Quarterback, Gage White found Zack Henry down the middle of the field for a 26-yard scoring strike with 1.8-seconds on the clock. A PAT run failed, for a 6-0 Spring Hill lead after one period.
Spring Hill turned back Bullard on four plays on the next possession. The hosts then took just two plays to add to the scoreboard.
Jay Rockwell caught a 35-pass from White for a TD, but a bad snap left the score at 12-0.
Bullard finally settled in, to put together a seven-play scoring drive.
The senior signal-caller, Shewmake threw strikes to Bryce Jewell, and Nic Hooley to get the passing game going. Shewmake then found Hooley again from 50-yards and the score, and a 12-8 count, after Shewmake’s PAT run with 6:41 left before halftime.
Spring Hill added to the lead on the ensuing possession as freshman, Davante Powers bulled in from one-yard out. The QB, White ran the PAT conversion in and a 20-8 tally, but the scoring not yet done in the half.
Bullard marched back down the field but almost lost out on points as Shewmake had the ball knocked from his grasp at the 5-yard line. A heads-up, Jaxson Elliot jumped on the miscue in the end zone for the score, and Christian Moore booted his first of four PAT kicks, for a 20-15 halftime score.
Whatever was said in the locker room at halftime by head coach Scott Calloway worked.
Bullard took the second-half kick-off and put up points behind a rejuvenated offensive line that opened up the lanes for the a steady diet of options, and occasional pass from Shewmake.
Shewmake proved his speed running the final 40-yards of a five-play drive that took just 2:22 off the clock, and a Bullard lead at 22-20.
After three plays and punt, Bullard marched down the field again behind some huge carries from Bryson Luscombe, and Lartrez Young.
However, a second fumble by Shewmake went the wrong direction this time. Shewmake again made a great read, turned up the field and the ball was knocked loose from behind.
Logan Hutchins swept up the pigskin for Spring Hill, and raced 69-yards for the score. After a converted PAT pass, Spring Hill retook the lead at 28-22.
It would be short-lived, and Shewmake wasted little time in getting Bullard the final lead of the night.
Hooley returned the ensuing kickoff to the Bullard 40-yard line. A big 24-yard pass from Shewmake to Riley Long highlighted an eight-play drive that finished with Young rumbling in from one-yard away. Moore booted the PAT true, and Bullard had a 29-28 advantage.
Once again, Spring Hill pushed the ball down the field, only to have Key and the defense make another fourth-down stop for a turnover on downs for the third time of the game.
The offense rode the momentum wave and followed up with another score.
After a long 28-yard run by Shewmake, Bullard faced a fourth-and-four, deep in Spring Hill territory. Shewmake once gain, made the right read, optioning in from five-yards for the final TD of the night, and 36-28 score after Moore’s PAT kick.
Bullard (1-1), will host Hallsville next Friday night. Spring Hill will travel to play at White Oak.
At Panther Stadium, Spring Hill-Longview, TX.
Bullard 36, Spring Hill 28
Bullard 0 15 14 7 - 36
Spring Hill 6 14 8 0 - 28
SH: Zach Henry 26 pass from Gage White, (PAT run no good), :1.8
SH: Jay Rockwell 35 pass from White, (bad snap), 9:26
B: Nic Hooley 50 pass from Tristan Shewmake, (Shewmake PAT run good), 6:41
SH: Davante Powers 1 run, (White PAT run good), 5:44
B: Jaxson Elliot fumble recovery end zone, (Christian Moore PAT kick good), 1:14
B: Shewmake 40 run, (Moore PAT kick good), 9:38
SH: Logan Hutchins 76 fumble recovery, (Rockwell PAT pass from White). 4:31
B: Latrez Young 1 run, (Moore PAT kick good), 1:36
B: Shewmake 5 run, (Moore PAT kick good), 7:43