The loss gives Runge a record of 3-6 for the season and 1-3 in district play. Runge has a bye week this Friday and will finish the season the following Friday at home against Benavides.
“We just needed to do a better job of executing,” head coach Bradley McElroy said. “Every time we got something going, we’d make a mistake. They were able to take advantage of our mistakes.”
After using the option play with great success in last week’s win over Woodsboro, McElroy was hoping for similar results against Pettus.
“They made some good adjustments on our option and stopped it,” McElroy said.
The Yellowjackets were facing a strong south wind in the first quarter that gave Pettus excellent field position in the early going. A punt into that strong wind set Pettus up at the Runge 30. From there, Casey Jones scored, putting the Eagles ahead 7-0.
Runge’s next drive stalled out, forcing a punt which set the Eagles up again at the Yellowjacket 37. On the first play of the drive, Runge’s defense came up with what turned out to be its biggest play of the night when Matt Perez came up with an interception, giving Runge the ball at its own 23. Three plays later the Yellowjackets punter again gave Pettus great field position, setting them up at the Runge 37. A few plays later, Tim Gill scored a touchdown from the 9 with 3:04 left in the first quarter. The touchdown gave Pettus a 14-0 lead.
“The wind was really blowing hard. They had a short field all night,” McElroy said.
Runge went three and out again on its next possession with the punt giving Pettus the ball at the Runge 37. Two plays later, John Canstante scored on a 5-yard run, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 21-0 with 11:54 left in the first half.
The Yellowjackets tried a different approach on their next possession as they faced a fourth-down situation. As they lined up in punt formation, punter Rob Molina kept the ball instead of kicking, but was stopped at the line of scrimmage and Pettus again took over with great field position at the Runge 38.
Six plays later, Eagle quarterback Ryan Beck threw to Hunter Tomlin for a 35-yard touchdown. The extra point failed, making the score 27-0.
Runge finally got some good field position after recovering a fumble on a reverse, setting them up at the Pettus 19. Randy Solis carried the ball to the 14, but the Yellowjacket offense went backwards from there, turning the ball over on downs at the Pettus 32.
Pettus took over with 20 seconds left in the first half, enough time for one more play. Beck passed to Jones near midfield. Jones lateraled to Dominique Robards, who took the ball the rest of the way for a touchdown, making the score 34-0 at halftime.
The Eagles took up exactly where they left off in the second half. Beck connected with Tomlin for a 58-yard touchdown pass with 10:05 left in the third quarter.
On their next series, Runge faced a third-and-10 at the Pettus 48. Tomlin scored his second touchdown in less than two minutes when he intercepted a pass from Molina and took it in for a touchdown, increasing their lead to 47-0.
Molina came up with an interception early in the fourth quarter, but the Runge offense failed to move the ball and had to punt. Five plays later, Tomlin picked up his fifth touchdown on a 20-yard reception with 9:51 left in the game.
Solis took the following kickoff and returned it to midfield with one of the best runs of the night for the Yellowjackets. Unfortunately, the Yellowjackets could not take advantage of the excellent field position and the drive ended in an interception.
Runge got the ball back again in the closing minutes of the game, taking over at their own 37. Molina broke loose for a 22-yard run, taking the ball to the Pettus 30. Molina was injured on the play and Chris Brasher took over at quarterback. On the final play of the game, Anthony Mendoza intercepted a pass and returned it the distance as time expired, making the final score 60-0.