BOLIVAR – Woodrow Lowe Jr. was disappointed his football team at Bolivar High fell to First Assembly Christian School 42-39, but he was encouraged in how well they played.
“You didn’t quit. I’ll give you that,” Lowe said. “You were in it the whole game.”
The Tigers (4-3) led most of the game before giving up a late touchdown with 3:36 remaining to fall behind by the final margin.
Bolivar went for it on the ensuing possession on its own 23-yard line on fourth down and failed, but the strategy of defending better on a short field worked as the Tigers forced the Crusaders into turning it over on downs with less than a minute remaining.
A pass interference call and a long pass play gave Bolivar the ball on the FACS 26-yard line with 20 seconds to go, but an incompletion followed by a sack ended the game.
“We’re close to taking the step to the next level as a program,” Lowe told his team. “You see the scoreboard how close we are.”
The Tigers can come close to taking a big step as a program next week when they host Melrose in a battle for second place in Region 8-3A and a probably home game in the first round of the playoffs on the line.
“Next week is the game we need to be ready for, and I hope the guys learned tonight we can’t make mistakes and expect to beat a good team,” Lowe said. “We played well for the most part, mistakes hurt us in all phases.”
The game started the right way for the Tigers when they forced the Crusaders into a quick three-and-out and Darmakus Murrell returned the punt 55 yards for a touchdown.
FACS marched down the field and tied the game at 7-7 a few minutes later.
Bolivar responded on its next possession with a touchdown run by Dreke Lewis with a three-yard run and a 14-7 score.
Mistakes on special teams hurt Bolivar in the second quarter.
After Bolivar took the 14-7 lead, the teams had a field position battle for much of the second quarter before the Tigers muffed an FACS punt and gave the Crusaders a short field from the Tiger 34.
The visiting team from Memphis capitalized with a nine-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
After Bolivar got the ball inside the FACS 5, the Tigers fumbled the ball for a turnover, but it didn’t matter much as the Crusaders went three-and-out and punted to their own 40.
Trey Lowe connected with Cornelius Polk for a touchdown on the first play of the drive with less than two minutes remaining before halftime. They missed the PAT kick, and that caused them to have a 21-20 deficit at halftime after FACS moved down the ball down the field quickly and scored on a 58-yard pass with less than 20 seconds left in the second quarter.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751
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