Entering the fourth quarter at University School of Jackson on Friday, the Battle Ground Academy Wildcats looked all but out of the game.
The Wildcats (4-1) suddenly woke up offensively and came storming back, but the Bruins (4-1) answered to seal the game late 52-45.
Down 38-17 entering the last 12 minutes, the Wildcats (4-1) scored three touchdowns in just over four minutes to tie the game.
USJ gathered itself after the BGA onslaught and got back into the end zone with 4:15 remaining, but the Wildcats again answered with a one-minute drive to tie the game at 45.
The Bruins answered with a 42-second, three-play drive capped by a 59-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Buie to Wells Smith, and BGA finally failed to respond. The Wildcats got all the way down to the USJ 34-yard line, but failed on a fourth-and-8 to effectively end the game.
Quarterback Drew Martin recovered from four interceptions in the first three quarters with four passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter and no turnovers. He ended the game with 368 yards, four TDs and four INTs on 39-of-66 passing.
Oliver Reese was Martin’s main target. He finished with 11 receptions for 141 yards and one score. Running back Joseph Pasley added 10 catches for 60 yards and a score to go along with four rushes for 74 yards and another TD.
Jake Holloway added rushing and receiving touchdowns, and Kel Hawkins scored on a reception.
Defensively, the Wildcats had trouble containing the Bruins’ passing attack. Buie completed 21-of-36 passes for 463 yards and five touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions, both of which came during the Wildcats’ rabid comeback in the fourth quarter.
Buie’s main target was Ryan Miller. He caught 10 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns. Smith added 133 yards on five catches and a score.
The loss snaps BGA’s four-game winning streak in which it had an average margin of victory of 24 points. The Wildcats will look to get back to their winning ways next week at home against longtime rival Page (2-2).
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