Oct. 16—PALESTINE — The Palestine Wildcats playoff aspirations remain within their reach after they defeating the Henderson Lions Friday night, 38-28.
The Wildcats entered Friday as a team battling adversity. A few missing pieces meant they would need to rely heavily on the guys they did have available to them. Early on, it appeared Henderson would have the best of Palestine.
Back-to-back scoring drives from the Lions had them sitting comfortably at 14-3 at the top of the second quarter — sandwiched in between their scoring drives was a 29-yard field goal from Palestine's Luke James.
Palestine answered Henderson's 75-yard bomb that earned them their second score with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Jerrod Walker to Jermny Walker. A missed extra point had Palestine trailing 14-9.
Palestine's defense began to make crucial stops when they were needed. After Henderson drove into the PHS 30, they were met with a fourth-and-three situation. An incomplete pass awarded the ball back to Palestine and set them up on their 29.
A 56-yard run from Jermny pushed Palestine down to Henderson's 13 before a physical run from Taj'Shawn Wilson put them on the three. From there, Jerrod snuck behind his mammoth offensive line for a three-yard touchdown.
A successful two-point try shifted the lead to 17-14, Palestine.
Once again, Henderson found themselves able to get into Palestine territory before Shedrick Dudley — and a few more Wildcats — sacked Jacobe Robinson to end the half.
Palestine forced Henderson into their first three-and-out of the night on the opening possession of the second half. Set up at midfield, Palestine took full advantage of their field position. A 16-yard run from Wilson set the tone for the drive. Four plays late Jermny tallied his second touchdown of the night as he gashed the middle of the defense for a 24-yard score.
Henderson did not wait long to produce a response. Jacobe connected with Jamal Robinson for a 42-yard reception down to the PHS 1. Dallas Alexander ran it in from there.
The explosive plays continued for Dallas. Shedrick Dudley burst up the middle for a 75-yard touchdown run.
The third quarter continued to produce offensive fireworks. Henderson methodically chipped away at Palestine's defense before a 37-yard touchdown throw found the waiting arms of Jamal.
Leading 31-28 with the fourth quarter winding down, Palestine needed to compose another scoring drive. Yet, they were met with a three-and-out. Henderson began forging their drive with the chance to jump in front awaiting them. A false start penalty, along with pressure from Dudley forced a 3rd & 12.
Another incompletion put them at 4th down.
Again, Palestine faced a three-and-out. It appeared Henderson had shifted the momentum back to them before Tobaius Jackson muffed a punt that went to overtime.
However, Palestine repaid him with a fumbled snap that Henderson fall on. After Henderson struck out, Palestine took over with 5:52 left in the game.
Their nine play, 61-yard drive was capped out with a halfback pass from Wilson to Jermny that affectively put them game out of reach with the Wildcats leading by 10.
Palestine moves to 2-2 in district, while Henderson falls to 1-2.