Down 17 points at halftime and requiring two massive defensive plays down the stretch, the Burr Oak football team survived its home street fight against Southern Michigan 8-Man Football League foe Tekonsha Friday for a 52-51 victory.
“The fourth quarter was a slugfest with Brent Everitt helping seal the deal with a blocked punt and a return for a touchdown within Tekonsha’s 10-yard line,” said Bobcats coach Ryan Stephens, whose squad improved to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the league. “To top the night off, Arturo Hernandez-Gonzalez intercepted the ball in the end zone after Tekonsha scored and went for two to try and win in the last 10 seconds of the game.”
Chantz Owens put Burr Oak on the board with a 13-yard run in the first quarter. James Saylor added a short TD run in the first frame. Saylor found the end zone again (nine yards) and Owens scampered in on a 15-yard run in the third quarter.
The duo carried the offensive load down the stretch, with Owens scoring on a nine-yard carry, Saylor punching in from one yard out. But it was Everitt’s blocked punt and Saylor’s ensuing 2-point conversion run that gave Burr Oak what it needed at the end to likely qualify for the playoffs.
“Tonight was an entertaining game to say the least, but one that was a test of mental toughness for Burr Oak,” Stephens said. “In the second quarter we made some mental mistakes over-pursuing and not containing the outside with our defensive ends and outside linebackers. We also had four fumbles throughout the game, which gave Tekonsha momentum to score.”
Stephens’ halftime message was to see what his group was made of.
“I told the boys that there was no better opportunity to test how well they can handle adversity,” he said. “In response, they rose to the occasion with two consecutive touchdowns in third quarter.
“We came into the game a little overconfident and made many careless penalties throughout the game to give Tekonsha the advantage and momentum. Next week’s practice will hold a strong emphasis on discipline and intensity against another possible high scoring offense.”
Saylor completed 7 of 13 passing attempts for 38 yards and one interception. Owens caught four balls for 26 yards and Alex Munoz made three catches for 12 yards.
Owens finished with 15 carries for 158 yards, Saylor posted 175 yards on 23 carries. Everitt paced the Bobcats with 15 tackles, a forced fumble and the blocked punt for a score. Arturo Hernandez-Gonzalez had 14 stops and the game-sealing pick. Munoz contributed nine tackles and a sack.