In a game that saw five lead changes and several controversial penalties, the Overton Mustangs fell 26-22 in their District 9-A opener against James Bowie.
Overton drops to 3-3 overall while Bowie improves to 3-3 on the season.
“James Bowie played well and they’re an excellent team,” said Overton coach Arthur “Bo” Talkington. “We just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we had to control the game and they stayed in it and got us at the end.
When asked about the controversial calls Talkington said the referees are just another facet of the game.
“Right now we’re just focused on getting back to work and getting ready for a solid Big Sandy team,” he added.
Down 26-22 with less than two minutes to play, Mustang senior quarterback Austin McCasland fired deep to senior wideout Derek Graham who was clearly interfered with by Pirate defenders, preventing Graham from making the catch.
Graham, who had a key interception in the third quarter to set up an Overton score, said the loss was a bitter pill to swallow but echoed his coach in praising their opponent.
“James Bowie’s a good team, we just let a few plays predict the outcome of that game,” he said. “But we’ll build off of those slip ups and be ready for Big Sandy this coming Friday.”
Hawkins was also the leading tackler with 7 solo tackles.
McCasland rushed for 57 yards and went 6-for-10 for 71 yards through the air, including a 40-yard touchdown to tight end Spencer Wright.
Wright led all pass catchers with 130 receiving yards.
Junior quarterback K.J. Luster contributed to the passing game as well, going 2-for-2 for 65 yards, and setting up two Overton scores with clutch first-down passes.
It was also a marked improvement from last year’s 60-12 shellacking at the hands of the Pirates in 2010.
“We’ve come a long way already,” said senior defensive lineman John Blaylock, who was clipped on several occasions. “We’ve just got to work on finishing and being more consistent on defense, we let them stay in the game.”
Next week Overton travels to Big Sandy (4-2) to face a Wildcat team that is coming off an impressive 47-24 comeback win over Maud.