Garrison Fights Back to Edge New Diana 17-14 in First-Round Playoff
CARTHAGE -- Garrison erased a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit and Cameron Rodriguez connected on a 27-yard field goal with no time remaining to lift the Bulldogs to a 17-14 Class 2A Division II Region III bi-district playoff win against New Diana on Friday at Carthage's Bulldog Stadium.
Garrison (11-0) faces Centerville (10-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rusk's Eagle Stadium in a 2A D-II Region III area playoff. New Diana finished the season 7-4 after reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Garrison led 7-0 at halftime, but New Diana fought back in the third to take a 14-7 lead into the final period. Senior running back Garrett Barton, who finished the season with 1,432 rushing yards and 19 touchdown runs, scored to tie the game 7-7 before sophomore teammate Skylar Simpson recovered an errant punt snap in the end zone for a 14-7 Eagle lead.
Logan Clark's nine-yard touchdown run capped a lengthy Garrison drive that tied the game 14-14. After a stop, Garrison drove from midfield to the New Diana 10-yard line to set up Rodriguez' game-winning field goal.
Barton, who had four tackles on defense, finished with 95 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. In addition to his season rushing totals, he caught 15 passes this year for a team-high 384 yards and five touchdowns, giving him 1,816 yards from scrimmage and 24 total touchdowns.
New Diana quarterback Jobie Ainsworth had 76 yards on 12 carries. Linebacker Brandon Wesley, who finished the year with a team-best 136 tackles, led the Eagles with 18 stops against Garrison. Toby Palmer had 10 tackles and a fumble recovery.