Lightning delays. Overtimes. Dramatics.
Jaden Osborne hit Dawson Willis with a 7-yard TD pass with seven seconds to play in regulation sending the game into overtime, and then the Bearcats stopped a faked-extra-point, two-point conversion in the second extra period to claim a 56-55 win over Ouachita (4-3) at Lion Stadium Friday night.
“There is a lot to say about our kids that they got their stuff together,” said Ruston coach Jerrod Baugh. “I wasn’t real happy with the way we came out and started this game. I don’t think we came ready to play ball.
“We figured out it was going to be a dog fight. We continued to fight. You could tell there were players that went down on both sides. It was two teams that gave everything that they had. We just happened to come out on top.”
Trailing 42-35 with just over three minutes to play in regulation, Ruston (6-1) drove 75 yards and with no timeouts remaining, Osborne found Willis in the back of the endzone to cut the deficit to 42-41. Brady Beason’s extra point tied the game. All but the final seven yards of the scoring drive came on the ground as Dyson Fields, Devian Wilson and Osborne accounted for most of the drive.
“We didn’t need the clock to run out down there with us running the ball,” said Baugh “That is something we work on weekly. We have a goal line package that we work on every week. They went out and executed it. I like to see that.”
Ruston rushed for 402 total yards in the game while Ouachita totaled 326 yards on the ground as the two teams combined for just 53 yards through the air. Osborne finished 2-of-4 for 15 yards, one interception and one TD as Ruston overcame three turnovers in the win.
Ouachita led 21-14 at halftime and then the Lions scored early in the third quarter to push its advantage out to 28-14. However, Ruston responded behind some explosive plays by its tailbacks. Fields scampered 58-yards to pay-dirt with 8:27 to play in the third and then Wilson scored on a 48-yard burst just three minutes later as Ruston tied the game at 28-28.
With just 1:39 to play in the third quarter, Fields added a 17-yard TD run to give the Bearcats a 35-28 lead.
Ouachita responded on a Marcel Henderson 70-yard TD run with 1:17 to play in the third and then Zach Jackson gave the Lions the lead on a 32-yard run just over midway through the fourth quarter, setting up the Bearcats final heroics in regulation.
After each team scored a TD and converted on the extra point in the first overtime, Ruston scored on a 10-yard run by Osborne in the second OT. Beason’s extra point made the score 56-49. Ouachita answered on a 1-yard run by Jackson to make the score 56-55.
Each team called a timeout and then the Lions sent out their extra point unit. However, Ouachita faked the extra point and tried to win the game on a pass into the endzone that fell to the turf.
Wilson rushed for 182 yards and two scores on 15 carries while Fields added 170 yards and four scores on 21 carries.
The Bearcats were led defensively by Jadon Mayfield (10 tackles), D’Angelo Harper (6 tackles), Christian Davis (7 tackles) and Ray Owens (5 tackles).
The game was delayed twice due to weather, including delaying the opening kickoff by 45 minutes. A second lightning delay came late in the first quarter.
Photo: Reggie McLeroy
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