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Pioneers hand Goblins first loss of season in OT

Rhett McDonald found Boston Hall wide open in the end zone on Batesville’s two-point attempt in overtime, and the Pioneers stunned the previously undefeated Harrison Goblins by a final score of 25-24 at Pioneer Stadium.

The Pioneers trailed the Goblins 10-0 at halftime, but would outscore Harrison 17-7 in the final two quarters to send the game to overtime.

The Pioneers first score of the game came on a Holden Hutchins one-yard touchdown run that was set up by a long pass from McDonald to Hayden Huckaba. Harrison blocked the extra point to make the score 10-6.

After a Harrison touchdown made the score 17-6, the Pioneers ended the third quarter with another Hutchins one-yard run for a score. McDonald ran in the two-point conversion to make the score Harrison 17, Batesville 14.

The Pioneer defense, which played lights-out all night, rose to the occasion with their second red zone stop of the night to give the Pioneers the football back, trailing by three with about four minutes to go. The Pioneers drive the ball down the field, and Sophomore Aldo Gallardo hit a 34-yard game-tying field goal with just 15 seconds to play.

The Pioneers won the toss in overtime and chose to play defense first. Harrison would score on a touchdown run, and kick the extra point to take a 24-17 lead.

On the Pioneers second play of their overtime possession, Hutchins took a pitch and bullied his way through several Harrison defenders to score and pull the Pioneers within a point. First-year head coach Ryan Morrow never hesitated in his decision to go for the two-point conversion, calling the perfect play as McDonald rolled to his right, but threw back to his left, and hit Hall with the winning score.

The Pioneers improved to 2-1 on the season and handed Harrison their first loss in three games.

The Pioneers will have a bye week next Friday, and will open 5A East play on Sept. 23 when they host the Nettleton Raiders at Pioneer Stadium.

Follow the Batesville Pioneers through radio coverage from White River Now’s 93 KZLE on-air and through the White River Now website or app.

Article by Ronald Richardson / White River Now file image of Pioneer Stadium by Gena Tate

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