Game 5 vs. Richardson J.J. Pearce

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Bulldogs Break Mustangs 38-27
By Bobby Summers
The Richardson Pearce Mustangs came to Royse City ISD Stadium looking to keep their two game winning streak alive. They had just put up a 56-8 victory over Carrollton R.L. Turner and their wide open passing offense was in sync, well oiled and hitting on all cylinders.
The Royse City Bulldogs were coming off a very emotionally high victory over the powerful defensive minded Rockwall Yellowjackets. It was their first meeting in nearly a half of a century and a rekindled rivalry had been waiting for a very long time to begin again.
So it was a perfect night for an upset. The question was, who would upset who? The Class 4A fledgling Royse City Bulldogs with their 3-1 record and 50 football players suited up or the tried and proven veteran 4A Richardson J.J. Pearce Mustangs with their 2-2 record and their 86 varsity traveling squad. On this night it would be the Bulldogs as the better football team. There were no upsets, just a Bulldog breaking a Mustang and introducing Richardson Pearce to the world of Royse City Football.
Royse City remains undefeated (3-0) in their new football stadium, undefeated (2-0) in District 10-4A play and on a three game winning streak. If you want to go a little further back, then the Bulldogs are now 17-1 since the end of 2006.
Last Friday night, Royse City actually scored on Richardson Pearce three times before the Mustangs ever got their second offensive play off. The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff, moved 9 yards in three plays and Richard Morrison quick kicked 41 yards to the Pearce 30 yard line. On the Mustangs first down they fumbled and Bulldog Scotty Arterberry recovered on the Richardson Pearce19 yard line. One play and the Bulldogs scored on a 19 yard run by sophomore Jonathon Burns. A holding penalty brought that score back, but three plays later, Kollin Padon kicked a 30 yard field goal with 8:42 remaining in the first period. A personal foul penalty by Pearce and then that score was wiped off of the board. With 7:50 remaining in the opening period, Morrison scored for the Bulldogs again. This time the one yard touchdown run stuck and the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead following Padon’s extra point kick.
The Mustangs picked away at the Bulldogs defense with a 17 play 79 yard scoring drive. Josh Gold scored on a 4 yard run. Royse City’s Justin Rogers blocked his first of two extra point kicks to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead with 1:36 to play in the first quarter.
Mustang Tyler Barrett was credited with a pick six when he intercepted a Morrison pass just three plays later. The senior linebacker returned the INT 17 yards for the score. A two point pass from Caleb Lewis to Blake Jumonville made up for the blocked extra point earlier and Richardson Pearce took a 14-6 lead at the fifty second mark of the first period.
Royse City responded with a 10 play 58 yard scoring drive capped off by another one yard touchdown run by Morrison. Padon’s kick tied the score at 14 with 9:47 to play in the first half.
Six Mustang offensive plays resulted in a punt and the Bulldogs mounted a 12 play, 85 yard touchdown scoring drive. Morrison completed four passes to Justin Jacobs in that drive including the final seven yard toss to Jacobs for the touchdown. Padon kicked the extra point for the 21-14 Bulldog lead at the 4:41 mark of the second quarter.
On most downs, the Bulldog defense consists of B.J. Farrar, T.J. Hardy, Ty Young, Ernesto Vargas, Cameron Nichols, Eddie Mancias, Justin Rogers, Oscar Hernandez, Kollin Padon, Scotty Arterberry and Lee Humphries. Although this defense has given up some points, they have been incredibly aggressive, athletic and amazing.
This defense forced the Mustangs to punt following their next 5 play possession. This time the Bulldogs would produce another field goal that capped off an 84 yard drive. On fourth and six at the Richardson Pearce 10 yard line, Padon kicked a 27 yarder to give the Bulldogs a 10 point, 24-14 lead with 1:07 to play in the first half.
Pearce answered the Bulldogs drive with an 83 yard scoring drive that took just four plays to complete. Aided by a Bulldog personal foul penalty, Mustang quarterback Caleb Lewis completed passes of 19 and 39 yards before he hooked up with Jumonville on a 6 yard touchdown pass with twenty seconds to play in the second quarter. The PAT was good to make the score 24-21.
Royse City tried to squeeze in a field goal before halftime as Morrison completed a 15 yard pass to J.T. Thompson and a 16 yard pass to Jacobs to set up a 49 yard field goal attempt by Padon with one second remaining on the first half play clock. The kick was just short of the mark as both teams took a much needed break from the exhilarating first half action.
It was the third quarter Eddie Mancias show when the two teams returned to second half play. Number 77 for the Bulldogs was either in the face of the quarterback, hot on the heals of the running back or at the bottom of the pile stopping big third down plays by the Mustangs. Richardson Pearce was held scoreless in the period as a result of the tenacious Bulldog play.
Royse City, however was held scoreless as well as they lost a fumble and were forced to punt twice . The Bulldogs had the ball a total of thirteen plays in the period, only six of those produced yardage.
When the fourth quarter opened the Mustangs capped off a 45 yard drive with a 19 yard touchdown run by Josh Gold. The tide turned however when Justin Rogers blocked his second extra point kick of the night. The blocked kick was returned 67 yards to the Pearce 30 yard line, but the Mustangs had retaken the lead 27-24 with 10:44 to play in the ball game.
A staunch Mustang defense forced a three and out for the Bulldogs. An equally aggressive Royse City offense did the same to the Mustangs.
On the Bulldogs second fourth quarter possession, they took the offense out of neutral and drove 51 yards in just 5 plays. Morrison connected with J.T. Thompson on a 6 yard touchdown pass with 7:42 to play. Padon kicked the extra point and the Bulldogs led 31-27.
A quarterback sack by Padon led to a Richardson Pearce punt on fourth down and 14 at their own 17 yard line.
The Bulldog fans were stomping their feet and clapping their hands as the Royse City offense showed signs of brilliance. Morrison used five different receivers to move the football 67 yards in just 7 plays. Facing fourth down and three at the Pearce 12 yard line, the Bulldogs went for the touchdown instead of the field goal and the gamble paid off with a 12 yard touchdown pass from Morrison to J.T. Thompson. Padon kicked the extra point and the Bulldogs had all they would need with 2:24 to play in the district contest.
Leading 38-27, the Bulldog defensive secondary shut down Pearce on their next four plays. Royse City controlled the football for the remaining minute and a half and they sealed up their fourth victory of 2008.
The Bulldogs travel to Greenville this Friday. The kickoff is scheduled for 7:30.