Randall coach Bryan Wood summed it up best standing near midfield after his unbeaten Raiders dizzy
ing game with Palo Duro on Friday.
“Just another typical night in District 3-4A is what I say,” Wood said, shaking his head after seeing a game with seven lead changes.
Randall and Palo Duro put on a football fans delight, producing a back-and-forth game finally decided when Collin Bowen scored on a 4-yard run with 90 seconds remaining, fending off upset-minded Palo Duro, 27-23, before 5,000 fans at Happy State Bank Field at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
“That was a quality football game with a lot of character from both football teams,” said PD coach Steve Parr. “There wasn’t a lot of jawing. There was a lot of playing. I respect that.”
Now, on most Friday nights playing 90 seconds doesn’t mean much.
But on this night those final 90 seconds meant Bowen had to intercept a pass with under 10 seconds to play at the Palo Duro 1-yard line to seal the win.
“Oh man, you had great athletes like Charleston White and Montrel Meander out there,” Bowen said of the interception. “I just knew if that ball was going up I was going to do anything I could to knock it down or pick it.”
The victory lifted Randall to 3-0 in district, pushed its home winning streak to 11 in a row dating to September, 2011, and most importantly, set up a Thursday night showdown with 2-0 Amarillo High.
“They would score and then we would score,” said Randall quarterback Bowen, who ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns. “There was some adversity and we knew we had to respond. Palo Duro is team of playmakers and they proved that.”
Palo Duro, 0-2 in district after no-shame losses to Randall and AHS, trailed 7-6 at halftime and then put Randall in a hole the second half with a trio of time-consuming drives.
Palo Duro fed running back Antaun Turner (25 carriers 112 yards) over and over at the Randall defense, moving for touchdowns on drives of 60 yards (13 plays), 62 yards (13 plays) and 78 yards (13 plays).
The final scoring drive put PD ahead 23-20 with 4:46 to play on a 22-yard run by elsuive quarterback Malik Sims.
It was Sims’ second TD run, and he also found Montrel Meander on a 45-yard scoring pass late in the first half. Sims was a thorn in the Randall defense, running for 88 yards and throwing for 150 yards
“I was proud of our kids,” Parr said. “They played so well. We just had one stop fewer than we needed. We aren’t dead by any means. We play like this we will be in great shape.”
Randall took the ball at its own 35-yard line after Sims’ strong run.
The Raiders opened the game-winning drive with their favorite — and most successful — play of the night: a handoff to running back Tyler Junell. Junell keyed the Raiders offense all game long, beating up the PD defense for 202 yards on 22 caries and scoring two touchdowns.
But PD held Junell to a 1-yard gain on that first down and soon had Randall in trouble with a third-and-9 from the Raider 36-yard line.
Bowen came up huge with an 11-yard run on a planned quarterback draw for the first down, then Junell gashed PD’s defense for runs of 14, 19 and 10 yards, setting up Bowen’s 4-yard TD run with 90 seconds to play.
“In the huddle I said, ‘it’s time to go,’ ” Bowen said. “It was time to go. That’s something great about this team, we keep our composure.”
Sims drove PD to the Randall 34-yard line, with the key plays pass completions of 12 and 19 yards to White. But Sims’ desperation lob in the final 10 seconds was snagged by Bowen at the Randall 1-yard line.
Randall finished with 346 yards rushing, while PD racked up 381 yards of offense.
“Our guys fought,” Wood said. “They fought and obviously Palo Duro is a good football team. We didn’t stop the run and No. 23 (Antaun Turner) is a stud. In game like that when you have the ball, you better do something with it.”
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Palo Duro 0 6 10 7 — 23
Randall 7 0 6 14 — 27
R—Tyler Junell 2 run (Nick Dominguez kick)
PD—Montrel Meander 45 pass from Malik Sims (kick failed)
PD—Tito Estrada 28 FG
R—Collin Bowen 53 run (pass failed)
PD—Sims 3 run (Estrada kick)
R—Junell 5 run (Dominguez kick)
PD—Sims 22 run (Estrada kick)
R—Bowen 4 run (Dominguez kick)
Randall Palo Duro
First Downs 19 22
Rushing Yards 346 231
Passing Yards 56 150
Total Yards 402 381
C-A-I 3-9-0 11-22-2
Punts-Avg. 3-28.2 2-51.1
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-45 5-75
RUSHING: Palo Duro - Malik Sims 14-88, Antaun Turner 25-112, Anthony McLain 5-23, Rashaud Ashley 3-10, Montrel Meander 2-17, Team 1-(-)19. Randall: Tyler Junell 22-202, Collin Bowen 16-137, Wyatt Garton 1-6, Ty Stewart 1-1.
PASSING: Palo Duro - Sims 11-22-2—150. Randall — Bowen 3-9-0—61.
RECEIVING: Palo Duro - Dee Taylor 2-28, Montrel Meander 3-60, Charleston White 5-51, Turner 1-5. Randall: Logan Brittain 1-40, Riley King 1-8, Aaron King 1-8. -