[By Mike Craven, Special to ETSN.fm]

NACOGDOCHES -- Hallsville needed overtime to win for the second consecutive week.

In Week 1, it was an overtime victory over Carthage, and on this Friday night it was Nacogdoches that wound up on the wrong end of an overtime bout with the Bobcats.

Nacogdoches scored a field goal in the first possession of overtime, but Hallsville responded with a touchdown pass from Roger McCuller to Andrew Southland on the first play of its drive to seal a 23-20 road victory.

Nacogdoches led 10-7 at halftime and increased its lead to 17-7 when Alex Gregory caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Noah Hildebrand early in the third quarter. The Hallsville offense struggled during the second and third quarters, but a missed field goal in the fourth by Chris Campos-Gonzales left the door open for the Bobcats.

That was all Hallsville needed because the Bobcats would go on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off with a four-yard touchdown run by McCuller with 1:36 left in the game.

Nacogdoches had time to end it in regulation after Gregory had an excellent return on the ensuing kickoff, set up by a Brandon Jones block, but two sacks by the Hallsville defense forced a punt. The Bobcats took over at their own 1-yard line and ran out the clock to get to overtime and the rest was history.

The first half started well for the visitors. After forcing a Nacogdoches punt on the first drive of the game, Hallsville needed just two plays to take the lead. A holding penalty and a rush for no gain set up second-and-20 on the Hallsville 23-yard line. That is when the Bobcats struck, as running back Lance Hardman took a screen pass from McCuller 77 yards for a touchdown. The point after attempt was good and Hallsville was up 7-0 with 8:17 left in the first quarter.

Nacogdoches went on a long drive after the ensuing kickoff, but two short runs and a fumbled snap set up fourth-and-nine from the Hallsville 9 yard line. Hallsville’s defense flushed Hildebrand outside of the pocket and his pass fell incomplete to end a 58-yard drive that resulted in no points.

Hallsville couldn’t do anything on the next possession, however. The Pirate defense settled in for the rest of the quarter, forcing two punts in the next two Hallsville drive. With 8:02 left in the second quarter, Nacogdoches took over at its own 42 yard line and went on a five-play, 58-yard drive to tie the game. After four-straight runs by Phillip Jones, who had 20 carries for 123 yards in the first half, Hildebrand used a play-action fake to suck in the Hallsville defense and hit wide receiver Jaylon Maxie for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 6:31 left in the second quarter. The point after attempt by Campos-Gonzales tied the game at 7-all.

The Bobcats were on their way to retaking the lead on the next drive, but Nacogdoches cornerback Josh Thompson intercepted a McCuller pass on the Pirate 1 yard line with 3:51 left in the first half. Nacogdoches wasn’t satisfied with just trying to create space for its punter, as the Pirates drove the length of the field in 13 plays before kicking a 19-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to take a 10-7 lead at the break.

Jones ended up with 33 carries for 179 yards in a loss. Gregory had six catches for 86 yards. Hallsville’s offense was led by Hardman, who had 77 yards rushing and 113 yards receiving. Each team had one turnover in the game.

Hallsville 23, Nacogdoches 20

At Dragon Stadium, Nacogdoches

Hallsville              7               0              0             14            6 – 23
Nacogdoches     0               10            7               0            3 – 20
First Quarter
HAL--Lance Hardman 77 pass from Roger McCuller (Gustovo Lilly kick), 8:17
Second Quarter
NAC--Jaylon Maxie 25 pass from Noah Hilderbrand (Chris Campos-Gonzalez kick), 6:31
NAC--Campos-Gonzalez 32 FG, :00
Third Quarter
NAC--Alex Gregory 19 pass from Hilderbrand (Campos-Gonzalez kick), 7:23
Fourth Quarter
HAL--Lilly 19 FG, 9:54
HAL--McCuller 4 run (Gustovo kick), 1:36
NAC--Campos Gonzalez 26 FG
HAL--Southard 25 pass from McCuller


RUSHING – Hallsville, Lance Hardman 15-77, Roger McCuller 17-43, Justin Taylor 4-14. Nacogdoches, Phillip Jones 33-179, Noah Hilderbrand 8-(-8).
PASSING – Hallsville, McCuller 10-17-1--168. Nacogdoches, Hildebrand 13-26-0--173.
RECEIVING – Hallsville, Hardman 3-113, Coleton Lasseter 2-17, Kyle Dickard 1-31, Andrew Southard 1-25, Hunter Baldridge 2-21. Nacogdoches, Alex Gregory 8-86, Jaylon Maxie 3-45, De’corius Williams 2-27, Kobe Poole 2-26.

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