Despite a big night from the Southerners’ Bo Trucks, a last-second field goal allowed Bald Knob to escape Southside with the 27-24 win Friday night.
Bald Knob did not take long to start off the scoring for the night.
With 8:57 left in the first quarter, senior running back Bradyn Cline found the end zone on a 38-yard touchdown run. Junior kicker Marcus McGahee kicked the extra point to give the Bulldogs the 7-0 lead.
The Southerners received the ball and went on a long drive that took over five minutes of the quarter. Southside got into the red zone but then failed to get any points and turned the ball over on downs to the Bulldogs.
Southside’s defense held strong and forced Bald Knob to a three-and-out and got the ball deep in Bulldogs territory. The Southerners then went on another long impressive drive that went to the end of the first and into the second quarter.
With 9:57 left in the second quarter, the Southerners found the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown run by Trucks, a senior. Senior David Anorve kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
Bald Knob responded with a long drive. A personal foul on Southside kept the drive alive after holding the Bulldogs to a fourth down, but the Southside defense held the Bulldogs to a field goal with 3:45 left in the second quarter.
McGahee kicked a 26-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs the 10-7 lead.
Southside took the most of the rest of the quarter to go on another long impressive drive.
With 34 seconds left in the second quarter, Anorve kicked a 41-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10 at the half.
The Southerners started the second half at their 37-yard line. The Bulldogs’ defense made big plays at the beginning of the half, forcing Southside to a long third down.
The Bulldogs got the ball off a punt that was deep in the Southerners’ territory at the Southside 38-yard line.
Southside’s defense again stood tall and held the Bulldogs out of the end zone.
The Southerners got the ball back after a missed Bald Knob 47-yard field goal attempt at their 20-yard line.
Trucks was able to keep the long Southerners drive going on a fourth-and-3 picking up 13 yards on a run to the Bald Knob 26.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Southerners were deep in Bald Knob territory. With 11:54 left in the game, Trucks ran into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night from 6 yards out.
After a roughing the kicker penalty on the Bulldogs, the Southerners went for a two-point conversion. Trucks was able to convert the try, giving Southside the 18-10 fourth-quarter lead.
The Bulldogs responded quickly with points of their own.
With 10:55 left in the game, Cline ran for a 64-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs attempted a two-point try, but did not convert leaving Southside with the 18-16 lead.
The kickoff to the Southerners ended in a big return to the Bald Knob 29-yard line. However, Bald Knob held Southside to a 50-yard field goal attempt that Anorve missed just shy of the bar.
On a second-and-15 on the ensuing possession, junior quarterback Leason Pierce connected with senior running back Josh Clark to set up Bald Knob at the 2-yard line of Southside.
With 7:08 left in the game, Clark ran the ball in from 2 yards out to give the Bulldogs the lead. Pierce converted the two-point conversion on a quarterback keeper, giving the Bulldogs the 24-18 lead.
Bald Knob attempted an onside kick that Southside recovered, giving the ball to the Southerners at the 50.
The Southerners found the end zone on a fourth-down play with 3:13 left in the game on a Trucks run from the 6-yard line. The extra point attempt was no good, though, leaving the game tied 24-24.
On the next Bald Knob possession, Clark had another 20-plus-yard catch to the Southerners’ side of the field setting up Bald Knob in the red zone.
McGahee won the game for the Bulldogs with 13 seconds left with a 30-yard field goal.