Purcell had the lead for all but 7.7 seconds last Friday night at Conger Field but came away with a stinging 19-17 district loss.
Wildcat quarterback Paten Bond found receiver Ke’ven Davis alone in the north end zone with just under eight seconds remaining in the game. This capped a game-winning drive that occurred without any time outs.
A Purcell incomplete pass on third down stopped the clock for the Wildcats once. Three times officials made Purcell clock officials add time during the final drive that erased what was a 17-13 Purcell advantage.
The Dragons struck first on a 20-yard Jonah Woodley run right up the middle of the Wildcat line in the first quarter.
Madill tied it on a 38-yard Bond rush. That 7-7 score was the halftime count.
Purcell had a nice offensive drive stall out early in the third stanza that resulted in a 24-yard Daniel Martinez field goal.
The Dragons padded their lead to 17-7 later in the third quarter. Madill came back with 13 unanswered points and ran their record to 5-0 while Purcell fell to 2-3 on the season.
For the most part, Purcell’s defensive line of Brandon Rolin, Colby Lindsay, Nathan Schmidt and Ricky Calvin kept Madill’s potent rushing attack at bay.
In fact, 38 yards of their 119 total rushing yards, came on one play, head coach Shannon Watford pointed out.
“There were some bright spots,” Watford said of the loss. “I thought the defensive line played well. They kept Bond and Gentis, who can both run up and down the field.
“Most of their rushing yards came on quarterback scrambles. They (the defensive line) played well until they got tired.”
Watford said the Dragons continued to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties.
“Penalties killed us in the first half. It should have never been that close at the end. And then I’ve never not been given a measurement.”
Watford was referring to a measurement by the chain gang late in the game that was refused by the officiating crew, something that really stuck in his craw.
Watford said his offensive line also played well, “at times”.
“We just had too many self inflicted wounds; too many lapses in concentration. We’ve gotta’ learn how to play consistently, not inconsistently.”
Purcell held up its end of the offensive bargain rushing and passing for 295 yards while Madill picked up 299 total yards. But the Wildcats didn’t have a turnover while Purcell had one pass picked off.
Dominique Gavia rushed 18 times for 105 yards to lead the offense. Quarterback Drew Rolin tossed the ball around to a bevy of receivers with Barrett Huey, Tanner Helton, Jonah Northcutt and Mac McGregor all catching a pair of passes. Gavia also caught one ball.
“Our kids competed,” Watford continued. “I told them after the game it was the first time since I’ve been here that I felt like we had a football team.
“They were fighting to win. We didn’t come out on the right side but we did some things to put ourselves in a position to win the game. We make one play down the stretch and things may have been different.
“We had two drives in the fourth quarter where either time we make a first down and they run out of time,” Watford said.
Huey had seven tackles on defense and broke up a pass.
Kendall Beasley registered 12 tackles and had one quarterback sack while Calvin made eight tackles. Brandon Rolin also had eight tackles and a sack while Gavia had five tackles and a sack.
Colby Lindsay had eight tackles and a sack.
Plainview will bring the Flexbone to town, the same offense Washington’s Warriors employ. They’ll also deploy out of the same defensive formation (a stack three) that Madill uses, the coach said.
“They’ve got a really good quarterback, a really good fullback, two really good tailbacks and two good looking wide receivers,” Watford said of the Indians.
“Their linemen will come off and hit and their linebackers fly around and pop you right in the mouth. They run fast. Boy, can they run fast,” the coach said.
Watford said the key to a Dragon victory will be stopping the run.
“If we can stop the run we will give ourselves a chance to win. That’s why we had a chance last week.
“We’ve got to put ourselves in position to win the game. Then we’ve gotta’ make plays when it counts like on third and five. We’ve gotta make the right block or throw or stay in bounds to keep the clock running. Those are the little things we’ve got to do,” he said.
Head coach Shannon Watford nominated Dominique Gavia as the Offensive Player of the Week.
Gavia rushed for 105 yards on 18 carries and had a 29-yard touchdown run. He also caught one pass.
Nominated as the Offensive Lineman of the Week was Brodie Winter, who graded out at 55 percent against Madill.
Getting the nod as the Defensive Player of the Week was Erik Gonzalez, who made eight tackles and broke up two passes.
The Defensive Lineman of the Week nominee was Colby Lindsay who had eight tackles, a sack for minus three yards and two quarterback hurries.