Hooker rallies to edge Gruver 34-33 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 September 2011 02:54

By SHAWN YORKS
The Guymon Daily Herald

HOOKER - In what will go down as one of the epic football games in Hooker High School history, the Hooker Bulldogs pulled out a 34-33 win over Gruver, Texas, Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
And they did it with an offense that made the big plays when it needed to, and a defense that was just good enough to hold Gruver's powerful offense.
"It's huge, especially in the fashion in which it came," said Hooker head coach Jacob Kreamer. "It shows these kids that hard work and playing a whole football game, you never know what could happen. They earned it."
Neither team led by more than a touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter, Hooker punched it into the end zone midway through the second on a 1-yard plunge after the Bulldogs had driven to the 4 and turned it over on downs on the previous possession.
The big play of the drive was a run by Kyle Bingham from the Hooker 32 to the Gruver 7. Bingham had open field, but his momentum caused him to stumble at the 7.
But no worries for Hooker, as two runs by Bingham and a short gain by Taylor McBee set up Bean's score.
Gruver answered with a 62-yard drive of its own, the killer being a 6-yard scoring run by Victor Serrano at the 3:24 mark of the second. The big play was a 28-yard pass from Korbin Irwin to Beau Blankenship that set up the touchdown.
Tied at 7, the Bulldogs (1-1) put together an 11-play, 71-yard scoring drive, capped by a 4-yard scoring run by Augustin Barrios with 23 seconds left in the first half. The extra point was wide and Hooker led 13-7. The scoring drive was helped along by runs by Bean, and a circus catch by Payson Slater for a 13-yard gain.
With a spectacular lightning show on the northern horizon, lightning struck on the football field as both offenses cranked it up a notch in the final 24 minutes of play.
The Greyhounds (1-3) got things started with a sustained 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Jerrod Collier had all 10 carries on the drive for Gruver, scoring on a 5-yard run up the middle. The extra point was partially blocked and the score was tied at 13.
Lightning struck quickly for the Bulldogs, as Anselmo Estrada took the ensuing kickoff, raced 76 yards to paydirt, and just like that, Hooker was back on top, 20-13.
But the Greyhounds responded, driving 80 yards in six plays, with Collier rumbling in from 25 yards out to tie it at 20.
Then the Greyhounds got a break. On the ensuing kickoff after the Gruver touchdown, the Bulldogs didn't cover the kick, and it was recovered at the Hooker 20 by Victor Guereca. Three plays later, Irwin found Blankenship from the 20. Blankenship made a leaping catch surrounded by three Hooker defenders at the 1 and leaned backwards across the goal line for the touchdown, giving Gruver its first lead of the contest, 27-20.
After an exchange of punts brought the game into the fourth quarter, the Hooker defense made things happen. Barrios recovered a Gruver fumble at the Hooker 42.
A big run by McBee was helped along by a face mask penalty on Gruver to the Greyhound 39, and two plays later, McBee raced into the end zone from 37 yards away for the touchdown.
Then came the gutsiest call of the year so far for Hooker.
Instead of going for the 1-point Guerrero Garcia kick to at least a tie with 5:47 left, the Bulldogs went for two. Bean took a keeper around the left side and found the corner of the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 28-27. lead.
It ended up being the difference in the game.
"Honestly, I was thinking we were going get it," Kreamer said.
The Bulldogs caught another potential break when Roy Alvarado recovered a Gruver fumble. But two plays later, the Greyhounds recovered a fumbled Bulldog snap, and Gruver was back in business.
It took just one Collier run to give the Greyhounds the lead when he took a handoff off left tackle, cut across the seam into open territory and raced 66 yards for the score with 3:21 left in the fourth. The extra point pass was incomplete and Gruver was ahead 33-28.
"It would have been a huge momentum changer if it worked out," Kreamer said. "We were driving the ball, and I figured if it did work out, we'd come back again."
And the Bulldogs did come back, in a big way.
After a nice return put the ball at the Bulldog 30, Hooker would score the winning touchdown with a 5-play drive. McBee picked up seven yards, and after a short loss, Bean tossed to Chad Kennedy to the Gruver 29. McBee carried to the 11 and Bean did the scoring honors on the next play with 1:17 left in the game.
"It was amazing," McBee said of the win.
McBee, a sophomore, ended up with 20 carries for 175 yards, while senior Kyle Bingham added nine carries for 66 yards. Bean completed 4 of 8 passes for 61 yards.
Collier led the Greyhounds with 32 carries for 274 yards - most of that in the second half (23 carries for 246 yards).
"He's an amazing player, McBee said.
Irwin was 6 for 15 passing for 88 yards - five of those were to Blankenship for 80 yards.
Next up for the Bulldogs is their District A-1 opener at Turpin next Friday.

 
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