LLANO, TX – The Christoval Cougars took a loss on Thursday night in a crazy game against the Burton Panthers that ended their playoff run.
With 13 seconds left in the game down by 1 point (29-30), the Cougs had to throw the ball. Loehman connected with one of this most reliable targets Beau Jolly. Jolly caught the ball across the middle, slipped a tackle, and took off down the Burton sideline. Jolly, with Ketcher Joiner as a lead blocker, would get tackled by a host of Panthers as the game ended about 20 yards from victory.
This play pretty much summed up the game and the week leading up to it.
Christoval had a rough start in the beginning of the game. The Panthers, who went up 7-0 with 5:32 remaining in the opening frame but it wouldn’t be long before the Cougars woke up.
In the second quarter, the Red Sea started washing the Burton backs to the sidelines and with 6:14 left before the half, the Cougars started their scoring drive.
From the Burton 34-yard line, Loehman launched a deep pass for Cayden Carpenter, who ended up wearing a Panther defender like a cape and drew a pass interference flag. A little reverse action from the Cougs pushed them closer to paydirt. Then, from the 20-yard line, Juggernaut Josh Fava ran right through the heart of the Panther defense for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
As the second quarter was coming to a close, the Red Sea had enough. On 3rd down, the Burton quarterback began to roll out, threw back across his body and Beau Jolly undercut the route and picked the ball.
With less than a minute before the half, Josh Fava took the handoff and ran on the highway the Cougar offensive line made right into the endzone. The same Cougars who started very slow, were up 14-7 going into the half.
The 3rd quarter, Christoval had a “Jolly” good time. The playmaker caught a huge pass from Loehman then, with 6:07 left in the game, Beau had an end around from 14 yards out that resulted in another Cougar touchdown.
Christoval now led 21-7 halfway through the 3rd quarter.
Burton was getting awful tired of watching Christoval celebrate and decided to do something about it but probably not in the way they wanted.
A huge catch but Burton into scoring position with a 1st and goal. Burton dropped a sure touchdown and on 4thdown, after a Burton penalty backed them up, the Panthers tried a reserve, which Cayden Carpenter bolted towards the runner, tackling him inches away from glory.
The Christoval offense took over with 99.75 yards in front of them. Loehman tried to call them offsides to no avail and on the snap, the Panthers pounced and forced a safety, making the score 21-9.
Burton took the Cougar’s punt and snacked on the clock. The Panthers quarterback kept the ball on the 3-yard line and ran to the edge where Jolly and Carpenter, who apparently took it personally, smacked the runner who fumbled the ball. Burton caught a break as the refs called him down at the 1-yard line. The Panthers scored on the next play to make the score 21-15 with 7:09 left in the game.
On the kickoff, Jolly ran up to catch the kick-off the bounce but over ran it as the ball bounced higher than he anticipated. Burton recovered the kick in Cougar territory.
Burton drove the field again and scored from the 3-yard line and made the score 21-22 with 3-17 left in the game.
Christoval, down by 1, wasn’t in desperation mode but had to make something happen. On 3rd and 19, Loehman dropped back and threw it to Jolly, who ran a corner route, caught the pass, shook off a would-be tackler, and ran for a 68-yard touchdown to make the score 27-22 in Christoval’s favor. Coach Otho went for the 2-point conversion and Fava pounded it in to put the Cougars up 7 points, 29-22.
There was still time on the clock and the Red Sea had to make a play. On 4th down, Burton threw a 23-yard catch towards their sideline to get a first down. Burton would score on a slant route and get the two-point conversion to go up by one, 29-30 with only seconds left in the game.
With :13 seconds left, Loehman found who else but Beau Jolly over middle, two Burton tacklers hit each other, and Jolly took off up the Burton sideline but at the 20, as the buzzer rang out to signal the end of the game, Jolly was taken down by a few Panthers.
In that moment, the season was over for the Christoval Cougars. For seniors, it could very well be the last time they put on a helmet. Regardless of the things Burton did this season, they are still a very good team
Losing isn’t fun but a wise man once said, “You gotta be there to lose it.”