BULLARD — Action and reaction.
Jalen Overstreet was Tatum’s man of action, rushing for 206 yards and four touchdowns and passing for 207 and two more scores to lead the sixth-ranked Eagles to a 44-25 victory over Bullard Friday night at Panther Stadium in the ETFinalScore.com Game of the Week.
Tatum (4-1) built a 22-0 lead in the second quarter before Bullard (4-2) reacted with 18 unanswered points of its own for a 22-18 halftime score. Bullard continued to react; twice cutting Tatum’s advantage to within four points in the third quarter, but Overstreet always had an answer. An interception gave Tatum the momentum it needed to tack on two more scores in the fourth quarter with Overstreet running for one and throwing for the other.
“These kids worked hard, they played as a team and they played four quarters and I am proud of them,” said Bullard coach Shannon Wilson. “They showed me a lot of fight tonight.”
The teams traded touchdowns in the second half, but every time Bullard looked to be inching closer, Tatum responded with another big play from Overstreet.
The senior scored on runs of 7, 1, 51 and 6 while his touchdown tosses covered 82 and 48 yards.
His highlight reel play occurred on the 51–yarder when he used a Bullard player as a hurdle, jumping over him on the way to the end zone.
“It was crazy, in my head I was like, ‘Should I jump? Should I jump?’” Overstreet said of the play. “And I just did it. It was cool; it’s a good highlight.”
Bullard junior quarterback Colton Mebane passed for 196 yards and rushed for 121 with Tanner Schmidt (1- and 2-yard runs) and Houston Alexander (1-yard run) accounting for the touchdowns.
The Panthers pulled to within 22-18 at the start of the third quarter, highlighted by a 54-yard screen pass from Mebane to Alexander.
Overstreet fired back with an even longer scoring play, connecting with L.J. Johnson for an 82-yard touchdown on third-and-10.
Trailing 29-18, Mebane led Bullard back again, hooking up with Sal Guilano for 21 yards and Zach Holladay for 18. A two-yard scoring plunge by Schmidt and point after from Weston Gray made it 29-25 with 3:54 remaining in the third.
Bullard then forced Overstreet into his only mistake of the night, a fumble which Holladay recovered for the Panthers at Tatum’s 44. The chance ended though when Mebane was intercepted on third-and-nine at Tatum’s 20 with Martavious Henderson returning it 41 yards to the Bullard 39.
Overstreet took it from there using runs of 21 and 12 before stiff arming a tackler for a 6-yard touchdown.
Bullard’s offense was unable to answer this time and Overstreet iced the victory with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Nate Pickett.
“He makes it all tick, he’s a very, very special kid,” said Wilson about Tatum’s quarterback. “He can probably go play any position he wanted to. I’ve been around a lot of very good athletes and he’s right up there. I look forward to seeing him playing on Saturdays.”
Tatum struck first when Overstreet turned a fumble by his tailback into a 7-yard touchdown run as the senior alertly scooped it up and went around the edge, holding the ball out over the pylon as he was shoved out of bounds. Overstreet did the honors himself for the two-point conversion to make it 8-0 with 8:37 remaining in the first quarter.
The Eagles doubled their lead, thanks to a special teams miscue by Bullard. The Panthers snapped the ball over their punters head, giving Tatum possession at the Bullard 9. Two plays later, Overstreet leaned in for a 1-yard scoring sneak. The extra point by Alexis Garza made it 15-0.
Things could’ve got worse for Bullard, if not for a defensive stand. A Panther fumble gave Tatum the ball back again in Bullard territory, but the Panthers stopped Tatum on four plays from its 3-yard line, the final one dropping Overstreet on a quarterback sneak, to get the ball back.
Overstreet’s 51-yard scoring run made it 22-0, but Bullard answered.
Mebane broke loose for carries of 27 and 15 yards before Alexander finished it off with a 4-yard touchdown run. Mebane’s two-point run made it 22-8.
The Panthers held and got the ball back with 5:18 remaining. Using runs by Mebane, Alexander and Tanner Schmidt, Bullard forced its way into Eagle territory enabling Weston Gray to kick a 26-yard field goal to make it 22-11 at halftime.
Tatum 44, Bullard 25
At Panther Stadium, Bullard
Tatum 15 7 7 15 – 44
Bullard 0 11 14 0 – 25
TAT—Jalen Overstreet 7 run (Overstreet run), 8:37
TAT—Overstreet 1 run (Alexis Garza kick), 7:06
TAT—Overstreet 51 run (Garza kick), 950
BUL—Houston Alexander 1 run (Colton Mebane run), 7:54
BUL—FG Weston Gray 26 (:00).
BUL—Tanner Schmidt 1 run (Gray kick), 8:58
TAT—L.J. Johnson 82 pass from Overstreet (Garza kick), 7:13
BUL—Schmidt 2 run (Gray kick), 3:54
TAT—Overstreet 6 run (Garza kick), 11:13
TAT—Nate Pickett 48 pass from Overstreet (Overstreet pass to Daven Reese).
First Downs 17 24
Rushes-Yards 36-290 47-195
Passing Yards 207 196
Comp-Att-Int 7-15-0 11-22-1
Punts-Average 0-0 3-42.6
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 4-48 3-15
RUSHING – Tatum, Jalen Overstreet 19-206, Shaq Johnson 7-39, Darian Brooks 2-3, Martavious Henderson 4-10, Tre Jackson 1-13, L.J. Johnson 2-18, Zeb McAllister 1-1. Bullard, Colton Mebane 19-121, Houston Alexander 15-41, Tanner Schmidt 11-31, Corbin Howard 1-2.
PASSING – Tatum, Overstreet 7-15-0 207. Bullard, Mebane 11-22-1 196.
RECEIVING – Tatum, Nate Pickett 3-64, Johnson 2-102, Daven Reese 2-41; Bullard, Holden Bryant 3-20, Sal Guilano 2-63, Zack Holladay 2-29, Schmidt 2-24, Alexander 1-54, Jess Wood 1-6.