[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

HALLSVILLE -- It was a tale of two halves Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Stadium. Fortunately for the Elysian Fields Yellowjackets, they played their best once when it mattered.

Elysian Fields used a 29-0 second-half run and the legs of junior Kyree Ratliffe to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit and defeat the Paul Pewitt Brahmas, 36-30, in their Class 3A Division II Region II bi-district matchup.

Elysian Fields (8-3) advanced to the area round where it will face S&S Consolidated, a 33-28 winner over Lone Oak.

Paul Pewitt ended their season at 3-8.

Elysian Fields's Ryan Storey looks to pass during the Yellowjackets' 36-30 win over Paul Pewitt in their Class 3A Division II bi-district playoff Saturday in Hallsville. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

The Yellowjackets came out of the halftime break and took to the air before pounding the Brahmas into submission with Ratliffe.

“We played at their tempo the first half. They got after us pretty good,” said Elysian Fields coach Scott Ford of his second-half adjustments. “The big halftime thing was I asked the kids if they were ready to put the pads up and move on, because that was what was about to happen and they weren’t ready to do that.”

Elysian Fields junior quarterback Ryan Storey connected with Dylan Parker twice on the opening drive of the second half, then hit his other favorite target on the afternoon Brevin Manning for a 6-yard TD.

The Jackets forced a three-and-out, but turned the ball back over to the Brahmas as Storey was picked off by Jonah Hungerford.

That didn’t deter the Jackets' comeback efforts as they forced another Brahmas punt.

Pinned deep in his own territory and facing third-and-8, Storey dropped back and heaved one deep to Manning, who did the rest, running underneath it and then outrunning the secondary 89 yards for a score.

“I think the big 90-yard touchdown to Brevin broke the ice and got us going,” Ford said. “That’s something we pride ourselves on is making the big play.”

Storey and Manning connected again on the two-point conversion and the Jackets had tied the game and, in the process, taken all the momentum.

The Jackets got the ball right back after another Brahmas three-and-out, starting at their own 18-yard line.

It was all Ratliffe from there on out.

Paul Pewitt's Lamon Hillis runs for yardage during the Brahmas' 36-30 loss to Elysian Fields in their Class 3A Division II bi-district playoff Saturday in Hallsville. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

A bad snap on first down pinned the Jackets inside their own 10, but it didn’t matter as Ratliffe carried the ball on nine of the next 10 plays, picking up 89 yards in the process, including the go-ahead score from 3 yards out.

Ratliffe picked up his third TD of the day on the next drive, with runs of 5 and 33 yards setting up his 18-yard TD run, completing the 29-0 scoring run.

Trailing 36-22, the once-dominant Brahmas offense, a ground attack clearly not built to overcome large deficits, looked doomed.

A 63-yard kickoff return by Trabon Betts helped tremendously, starting the Brahmas at the Jacket 19-yard line.

Three plays later the Brahmas got their first and only first down of the second half, with Lamon Hillis scoring from 9 yards out. The two-point conversion was good, cutting the Jackets' lead to 36-30.

Hillis, a 5-9, 200-pound junior, finished with 133 yards on 23 carries, scoring three times.

The ensuing onside kick by the Brahmas failed to travel 10 yards, leaving the Jackets with two minutes of clock to kill.

That wasn’t a problem for Ratliffe as he picked up 3, 2, 3 and then the dagger, an 11-yard carry on fourth-and-2 to finish things off, turning around a disappointing first half into a come-from-behind victory.

“We went in the lockeroom and we were down, but we knew we had to step up,” Ratliffe said. “We came out and decided we didn’t want to put up the pads yet. We came out in the second half and worked hard to be aggressive. I realized I had to help my team out, so I came out here and handled my responsibility.”

Ratliffe finished with 256 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries.

“He was our bell-cow,” Ford said of Ratliffe. “I don’t think I have enough adjectives to describe how he played. He made that fourth-down play late pretty easy. He’s just a junior so we’re pretty excited about his future.”

Storey finished the night completing 17 of 23 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns, both to Manning, who caught four passes for 107 yards. Parker added six catches for 59 yards.

The Brahmas dominated the first half, controlling the ball for large chunks

Paul Pewitt's Isaiah Porter scores during the Brahmas' 36-30 loss to Elysian Fields in their Class 3A Division II bi-district playoff Saturday in Hallsville. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

Opening at their own 21 to start the contest, they went to Hillis early and often as the tailback ran for 4 and 31 on his first two carries. He added two more carries of 5 and 6 to set up QB Isaiah Porter for a 2-yard keeper to get on the board. Porter added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

The Brahmas' defense got the ball back for the offense, which went right back to work.

Runs of 15 and 13 yards from Hillis moved the ball to the Jackets' 33-yard line. Porter and Hillis did the rest, with Porter picking up a fourth down with a 6-yard carry. He added a 16-yarder to the 2. Hillis got in again from 2 yards away for a 14-0 lead.

The Yellowjackets got on the board on their next possession, moving the ball efficiently on the legs of Ratliffe, who ran for 9, 6, and 6 on his first three carries of the drive. Storey hit Aaron Benefield for 23 yards on third-and-13, then found Manning for 11 on third-and-6. Ratliffe found the end zone from 3 yards away, cutting the Brahmas' lead in half at 14-7.

Hillis carried the load on the Brahmas last scoring drive of the half, as the junior picked up 29 yards on four consecutive carries to move the ball to the 12-yard line. Porter added a 7-yard keeper before Hillis completed the drive with a 3-yard TD run, his second of the game.

Porter hit Drew Cox for the two-point conversion to put the halftime lead at 22-7.

Paul Pewitt's Lamon Hillis crosses the goal line for a touchdown during the Brahmas' 36-30 loss to Elysian Fields in their Class 3A Division II bi-district playoff Saturday in Hallsville. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

Elysian Fields 36, Paul Pewitt 30

Class 3A Division II
Region II Bi-District Playoff
At Bobcat Stadium, Hallsville

Elysian Fields            0     7    15    14    --    36
Paul Pewitt             14     8      0      8    --    30

First Quarter
PP--Isaiah Porter 2 run (Porter run), 8:24.
PP--Lamon Hillis 2 run (two-point failed), 1:12.
Second Quarter
EF--Kyree Ratliffe 3 run (Tramell Hudson kick), 10:00.
PP--Hillis 3 run (Drew Cox pass from Porter), 1:04.
Third Quarter
EF--Brevin Manning 6 pass from Ryan Storey (Hudson kick), 9:50.
EF--Manning 89 pass from Storey (Manning pass from Storey), 3:32.
Fourth Quarter
EF--Ratliffe 3 run (Hudson kick), 8:49.
EF--Ratliffe 18 run (Hudson kick), 3:06.
PP--Hillis 9 run (Tray Hillis run), 2:06.

                                            EF                  PP
First Downs                           17                  12
Total Yards                          430                227
Rushes-Yards                 45-213          49-227
Passing Yards                      217                  0
Comp-.Att.-Int.              17-23-1            0-2-0
Punts-Avg.                            0-0          5-37.0
Fumbles-Lost                        7-2               0-0
Penalties-Yards                   3-25             3-32

RUSHING--Elysian Fields, Kyree Ratliffe 38-256, Ryan Storey 7-(-43). Paul Pewitt, Lamon Hillis 23-133, Isaiah Porter 14-61, Tray Hillis 7-27, Trabon Betts 3-8, Jack Sims 1-2, John Terrell 1-(-4).
PASSING--Elysian Fields, Storey 17-23-1--217. Paul Pewitt, Porter 0-2-0--0.
RECEIVING--Elysian Fields, Dylan Parker 6-59, Brevin Manning 4-107, Aaron Benefield 3-25, Sean Owens 2-15, Tramell Hudson 2-11.