WORTHAM – —
After watching two of its players leave on stretchers, Cross Roads could have packed it in behind Wortham's stone-walled Bulldog Stadium. Instead, the Bobcats pushed the Bulldogs to the limits.
Cross Roads scored 14 fourth quarter points and pulled to within a point with 18 seconds left, but Wortham linebacker Shane Sykora dropped quarterback Chad Sherrell on the two-point conversion run.
It allowed the Bulldogs to survive, 21-20, in a game they had control of for three quarters.
Cross Roads (1-3) lost two players to injury, as Trey Hazelip left in the second via ambulance, and leading rusher Derek Whiteley left in the third the same way.
Wortham (2-2) had built a 21-6 lead with two minutes left in the third after Brandon Campbell — himself air lifted last week in a 35-7 loss to Cayuga — scored on a 15-yard reverse when he broke a Whiteley tackle attempt at the 7.
But Cross Roads fought back, scoring twice after Whiteley raised his hands in the air as he left on a stretcher. Sherrell hit Aaron Arden for a 5-yard score with 8:56 left, the hit Shawn Himes for two to make it 21-14.
The Bobcats then stopped Wortham at their 25, and took over with 5:29 left, and used almost all of it to get within one. Sherrell went 25 yards on first down, and a sideline unsportsmanlike moved the ball another 15 yards to the Wortham 35. On fourth-and-10, Sherrell scrambled and hit Harley Corbell for 10 yards and a critical first down .
On fourth and goal, he lofted a ball to Taylor Johnson that Kyle Goerner tipped, yet landed in Johnson's hands. Cross Roads went for two, but Sykora broke through and stopped Sherrell long enough for reinforcements to arrive.
The Bulldogs led 15-6 at the half, scoring right before intermission on back-to-back Witty Busby completions, the first the righthander threw left-handed under duress. It only went for four yards, but on the next play, on fourth-and-7, he lofted a picture-perfect spiral down the middle of the field that Campbell corralled as he was tackled crossing the goal line. From the swinging gate, Busby then hit Micah McCord for two.
Wortham was much more methodical and practical in its opening drive, taking a 7-0 lead after a 12-play, 51-yard drive, all of which came on the ground. Busby walked in on a sneak from a yard out, but Tyvon Freeman did the heavy lifting on the drive. He carried five times for 42 yards, and his seven-yard run on third-and-4 gave the Bulldogs a first and goal at the 1.
Wortham took almost seven and a half minutes off the clock. Freeman ended with 144 yards on 18 carries.
Cross Roads answered with a 1-yard Johnson run after a muffed punt return set the Bobcats up first-and-10 at Wortham’s 21. Sykora blocked the extra point attempt, preserving a 7-6 lead.
The Bobcats had only 51 yards and two first downs at the half, with 20 yards coming on one Sherrell run.
Wortham 21, Cross Roads 20
Cross Roads 6 0 0 14 — 20
Wortham 7 8 6 0 — 21
W — Witty Busby 1 run (Brandon Campbell kick),4:42
CR — Taylor Johnson 1 run (kick failed),2:00
W — Campbell 28 pass from Busby (Micah McCord pass from Busby),:41
W — Campbell 15 run (pass failed),2:00
CR — Aaron Arden 5 pass from Chad Sherrell (Shawn Himes pass from Sherrell),8:56
CR — Johnson 6 pass from Sherrell (run failed), :18
First downs 15 14
Rush-yards 32-126 40-261
Passing yards 87 74
C-A-I 7-16-1 4-9-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Punts-avg. 2-41 1-41
Penalties-yards 4-43 9-66
Rushing — CR: Derek Whitely 9-31, Chad Sherrell 17-82, Taylor Johnson 3-0, Shawn Himes 3-13. W: Kyle Goerner 10-61, Tyvon Freeman 18-144, Shane Sykora 2-9, Haven Proulx 2-13, Witty Busby 8-23, Brandon Campbell 2-13, Team 1-(-2).
Passing — CR: Sherrell 7-16-1-87. W: Busby 4-9-0-74.
Receiving — CR: Whitely 1-19, Aaron Arden 2-32, Johnson 3-26, Harley Corbell 1-10. W: Goerner 1-4, Chris Lee 0-0, Brandon Campbell 2-50, Bryson Rhodes 1-20.