Every point and every moment matters in the game of football.
The Wylie Pirates (2-0 in 9-6A, 3-1) didn’t realize how essential their special team’s plays were early on, but they proved the difference in their 28-24 home win over North Garland (1-2, 2-3) Friday night.
The Pirates blocked two extra-point attempts and stopped two 2-point conversion attempts that proved the difference in holding off North Garland’s late comeback attempt. Trailing 28-12 at the break, North Garland’s offense began to find a rhythm in the second half after just five first-half rushing yards.
Raider quarterback Godspower Nwawuihe led the way with 270 all-purpose yards and three scores, including a touchdown run in the fourth to trim the lead to 28-18. On the ensuing two-point attempt to make it a one-score margin, Wylie stuffed North Garland at the one-yard-line and kept it a two scores difference.
Wylie’s offense was firing on all cylinders in the first half, as quarterback Jagger Bale threw for three touchdowns and just three incompletions. He started the game 13-for-13 and found three different receivers for scores.
The only black mark on the Pirates in the first half was two fumbles, one returned for a touchdown and one on a punt attempt that led to a North Garland score, that kept the margin closer than what the box score showed after Wylie’s dominant display.
In the second half, however, things began to slow down on offense. The Pirates went three and out on three of their four offensive possessions, while North Garland’s long drives did most of the work in killing the clock. Wylie’s defense came up clutch in the end, forcing a turnover on downs to start the fourth and holding off North Garland in the final seconds.
Wylie will turn around on a short week to travel to Lakeview Centennial (2-1, 3-2) Thursday night for their next district clash.