Tyrell Alexander cradled in a 7-yard scoring pass from Ryan Ross with 8:27 left in regulation as the Lancaster Tigers rallied for a thrilling 30-23 victory over the Hallsville Bobcats in Class 5A Division II area playoff game Saturday afternoon at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Hallsville had a couple of opportunities to tie the ballgame in the waning moments as Roger McCuller, who finished with 121 through the air and 67 more on the ground, connected with Andrew Southard on a 43-yard pass to the Lancaster 32 with under eight and half minutes to play. The potential for points vanished when Lancaster's Trevon Brooks forced a fourth Hallsville turnover.
McCuller found Chris Timberlake with a 35-yard pass that carried to the Tiger 46 with five minutes and change left to play. The Bobcats drove as far as the Lancaster 33 before turning the ball over on downs with 1:34 left and only one timeout to work with.
The Tigers, at one time, trailed 23-13 after Lance Hardman skipped in from 8 yards out with under a minute to play in the third period. The subsequent Bobcat point after attempt was blocked and Dajuan Adkinson raced 107 yards with it for a 2-point convert for the Tigers.
Adkinson's return made it 15-23 and seemed to shift momentum to the Tigers.
They scored quickly on their next possession as a 3rd and 25 was converted when Ross connected with Alexander on a 49-yard bubble screen. The very next play saw Gilbert glide 30 yards for his second score of the day. Gilbert finished with 143 yards on just 10 carries and the two TDs.
Lancaster proved opportunistic by cashing in on two of Hallsville's four turnovers with touchdowns, including what wound up being the game-winning score.
Hallsville closes out its season at 7-5 slate while Lancaster moves on to the regional round against the winner of Lucas Lovejoy and Terrell.