Pass the word – Episcopal is physical.
The Episcopal Wildcats ended the Barton Bears unblemished record with an impressive 25-19 victory in a nail-bitter Friday night.
Wildcat quarterback William Pollock tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another in a key conference matchup, which saw the underdog Episcopal squad tie Barton for the No. 2 seed in the 2-3A Conference playoff standings. The win could mean a home field advantage for the Wildcats in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs, just three weeks away.
After battling through a scoreless first period, Episcopal got on the scoreboard first on a 14-yard touchdown pass by Pollock just four seconds into the second quarter. Pollock also tossed a successful 2-point conversion pass.
Episcopal scored again with 4:08 to play in the half on a 3-yard run by Pollock to give the Wildcats a 15-0 halftime advantage.
Barton's Bears were not quite ready to throw in the towel yet. Cameron Anderson capped off Barton's first successful scoring drive of the night with 8:44 to play in the third quarter on an 8-yard run.
The extra point attempt was blocked.
Anderson's second touchdown of the contest closed the gap to 15-12 with 5:50 to go in the third quarter. The Bears were unable to complete a 2-point conversion pass.
Feeling the Bears breathing heavily down their necks, Episcopal responded with a short 24-yard drive set up by an interception. Pollock completed the 24-yard TD strike with 10 minutes to play in the game. With the successful extra point, Episcopal extended its lead to 10 at 22-12.
Barton wasted little time responding to the Wildcats' score. Justice Cole returned the ensuing kick to the Episcopal 43. Chajobie Fulcher capped off the drive with a 4-yard run. Justin Wilson's extra point closed the gap to 22-19 with 8:56 remaining to be played.
About 1:30 later, the Wildcats tacked on a 21-yard field goal to go up 25-19. The Bears had two opportunities with a little over half a quarter remaining but could not put together a successful scoring drive.
The Bears ran out of time and downs. Penalties and turnovers haunted the Bears' efforts all night long.
Episcopal never trailed in the contest.
Barton, 7-1, 4-1, travels to Bald Knob, 2-6, 1-4, Friday to take on the Bulldogs.