Down by 30 points, Henrietta score four unanswered touchdowns in the second half Friday night, but the comeback fell short by a two-point conversion, 37-35.
What appeared in the third quarter to be a blowout became the tightest game the Bearcats (1-3) have played this season.
With under three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Quanah held a 37-7 lead over the Henrietta when Bearcat quarterback Conner Fletcher connected with brother Ben Fletcher for a 20-yard touchdown strike. Jameson Dowell’s extra-point kick moved the Bearcats to within 23 points of forcing overtime – still a big gap to close.
Conner Fletcher stretched his arm again in Henrietta’s opening drive of the fourth quarter, finding receiver C.D. Crumpton open downfield for an 87-yard touchdown.
“Offensively, we made sure we were good, and made sure we knew what we were going to try to do,” said Henrietta Head Coach Byron West of the second half. “But even with that, we knew that we couldn’t just go to slinging the ball all over the field.”
There was little more than half of a quarter left to play when Henrietta struck again, this time on the ground. Tyler Coleman broke loose a 55-yard jaunt to put the Bearcats with in eight points of an even score.
With a successful onside kick and 6:20 remaining, The Bearcats marched 47 yards downfield on runs from Dalton Day, Tyler Coleman and Ethan Cantrell, setting up a one-yard touchdown plunge by Day. Henrietta attempted the two-point conversion for the tie. The ball was fumbled and recovered by Parker West inside the end zone, but called dead were ball carrier Coleman fell.
The Conversion had failed.
“We knew that we wanted to take some time off the clock too,” said West. “But you’re in a bad spot when you’ve got to go score, and you’re trying to get the scores.”
Quanah put its first points on the scoreboard with a 13-yard run and two-point conversion.
Henrietta answered in the second with a one-yard touchdown run from Day, but was left down by one after Jameson Dowell’s extra-point kick.
Quanah went on to score twice more in the second quarter, on a 26-yard run and seven-yard pass, and added two points to each. The Indians added a three-yard touchdown run and a seven-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
“I’m proud of them, to show that much heart, that much fight,” said West. “That ought to help us, and discourage some other people.”
It was Henrietta’s biggest passing game of the season, as Conner Fletcher completed 10 of 17 attempts for 168 yards, including five strikes to Crumpton for 124 yards. In addition to Ben Fletcher’s touchdown reception, Conner Fletcher found Joe Dell Williams for 15 yards, and Layton Webb, Myles Marchman and Coleman for three yards each.
On the ground, Henrietta finished with 195 yards rushing on 48 carries. Coleman led the way with eight carries for 86 yards, followed by Day with 16 for 78 yards and Cantrell with 18 for 65 yards.
Quanah relied on its passing game for 265 of its 363 yards total offense, completing 20 of 34 pass attempts.