Tivy edges Fredericksburg in 42-35 thriller - hccommunityjournal.com: Sports

Tivy edges Fredericksburg in 42-35 thriller

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Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2019 7:44 am

FREDERICKSBURG – The rivalry is back … and it’s better than ever.

Longtime foes Tivy and Fredericksburg combined for 968 total yards and 11 touchdowns in their 61st meeting Friday at Battlin’ Billies Field, with the last score coming on a game-winning 10-yard dash around left end by Tivy quarterback Trapper Pannell with just 1:12 left to play.

But that still didn’t guarantee a victory.

It took a diving fumble recovery by Tivy’s Regan Robertson in the final 30 seconds to wrap up a 42-35 thriller for the Antlers and extend Tivy’s win streak against the Billies to five games in a matchup of Highway 16 rivals that began in 1923.

Pannell finished the night 20-of-32 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 63 yards and two scores, and fellow senior Cole Miears threw for 136 yards and a pair of TDs as Tivy evened its season record at 1-1.

Tivy senior Brooks McCoy led all receivers with nine catches for 188 yards and three scores.

“This was a true credit and a testament to our kids’ fight and the ‘TFND’ spirit,” Tivy coach David Jones said after notching his 100th head-coaching victory. “The defense came up with some great stops late. I’m proud of the kids. This was a great win for us, and we needed this.”

Still, Fredericksburg gave the Antlers everything it had. Billie quarterback Tucker Elliott passed and ran for 375 yards and three scores, and Jarrett Beard hauled in a pair of touchdown throws while adding 58 rushing yards, including a 32-yard TD in the first quarter that, along with the first of Aaron Rojas’ five extra-point kicks, put the Billies ahead 7-0.

Tivy evened the score at 7-7 late in the quarter after Antler defensive back Coleson Abel fell on a Fredericksburg fumble. Six plays later, Pannell found Fisher Middleton open in the front left corner of the end zone on a 10-yard scoring pass, and Jared Zirkel’s PAT kick knotted the game.

Miears snapped the deadlock midway through the second quarter with a 14-yard touchdown pass to McCoy on a slant over the middle, and Zirkel’s extra-point kick put the Antlers up 14-7 at halftime.

The relatively slow first half gave way to a track meet after the break. Elliott and Beard got the ball rolling early in the third quarter with a 46-yard scoring bomb that pulled the Billies even at 14-14.

Tivy came right back with its own big play when McCoy hauled in a dart from Miears, broke two tackles and raced 61 yards for a go-ahead score and a 21-14 lead.

Elliott and Beard answered with another TD strike, this one covering 51 yards, but Pannell broke loose for a 17-yard scoring romp on Tivy’s ensuing series to put the Antlers ahead 28-21 at the end of the third quarter.

Elliott’s 1-yard scoring sneak less than a minute into the fourth quarter tied the score again, and Fredericksburg moved on top on its next possession when Dylan Ahrens slipped free for a 29-yard TD run that put the Billies ahead 35-28 with 10:35 left to play.

The lead was shortlived. Pannell capped a six-play Antler drive with a 61-yard scoring pass to McCoy with 8:36 remaining, and after a pair of Tivy defensive stands, the Antlers got the ball back with 3:58 on the clock.

That was all the time Pannell needed. The senior engineered a 10-play, 67-yard drive capped by his 10-yard scamper touchdown scamper with just over a minute to play, and after Fredericksburg picked up a pair of first downs, Robertson ended the Billies’ comeback hopes with his game-clinching fumble recovery.

“We knew we had to score,” Pannell said of Tivy’s final drive. “That’s what it comes down to … move the ball quick and score.”

Abel had an interception to go with his fumble recovery, and Zirkel capped the night a perfect 6-for-6 on PAT kicks.

Tivy returns to action next Friday at Del Rio. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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