Games of 2012, No. 9: Bullard 42, Chapel Hill 41 (2OT)
Neither team may have made the playoffs out of District 16-3A, a.k.a. the "District of Doom," but that didn't stop Bullard and Chapel Hill from putting on quite the show on Oct. 19 in Bullard.
Bullard's 42-41, double-overtime win over defending state champion Chapel Hill checks in at No. 9 on our countdown of the top high school football games of 2012.
Setting the stage: Bullard, which won its first playoff game in school history during its three-round 2011 postseason, was in search of a signature win against one of the big boys from 16-3A. Meanwhile, Chapel Hill was just trying to keep its slim postseason hopes alive after a dreadful start to the season. The Panthers entered the game at 5-1 and 1-1 in district after a 26-6 road win at Gladewater the week after losing its district opener to Kilgore. Chapel Hill, meanwhile, brought in a 2-4 and 1-2 record and the Bulldogs were also on the heels of their first league win -- a 52-33 victory over Spring Hill. Both teams needed it to have any kind of hope of remaining in postseason contention in the rough and tumble 16-3A.
First impressions: Chapel Hill looked to be in control with a 28-20 lead late in the fourth quarter, but Bullard's Brentavian Henderson scored on a 5-yard run and Houston Alexander's two-point conversion tied at 28-28 with less than a minute to go in regulation.
In the moment: The Bulldogs were the first on offense in the first overtime session, and went up 35-28 on a 2-yard run by Wesley Thompson. Bullard didn't waste any time finding the equalizer when quarterback Colton Mebane connected with brother Conner Mebane on a 24-yard scoring pass. Henderson, who scored the game-tying touchdown in regulation, put Bullard on top 42-35 in the second OT session. Chapel Hill's Jamarcus McCowin scored from 5 yards out on the ensuing possession, and the game appeared destined for a third overtime. But Bulldogs coach Thomas Sitton opted to go for the win and attempted a two-point conversion, but quarterback Andrew Black was intercepted to seal it for Bullard.
Last impressions: When the new district was drawn up, the only way Bullard was going to have an opportunity to build off its historic 2011 season would be for the Panthers to beat two of the district's big four (Kilgore, Chapel Hill, Henderson or Gilmer). Bullard still had a shot with games against Henderson and Gilmer remaining. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, finished the season at 3-7 and 2-4 in district.