The Pitman High School varsity football team continued their hot start to the season Friday night, pulling off their fourth victory in just as many games against Bullard High School with a 32-27 win that kept the home crowd on the edge of their seats until the final seconds.
“We’re just a powerhouse. I mean, we haven’t been stopped yet,” Pride quarterback Treyton Fair said. “We scored when we needed to and we scored a lot…we all came together perfectly.”
After easily beating their first three opponents on the season, the Bullard Knights presented Pitman with their first real challenge in a game that saw both sides fighting to stay ahead. Fair led the Pride to yet another victory with 230 passing yards on the night and was able to get things started quickly for the team on their first possession, connecting with running back Payton Bass on a six-yard pass into the end zone.
From there, it was a true back and forth between the Pride and the Knights. Bullard went on to score on their very next possession thanks to an immediate 31-yard touchdown from running back Marcus Fulcher. With the score tied at seven apiece, Pitman answered back with a Fair-to-Bass combo yet again — this time, a 42-yard pass as time dwindled in the first quarter.
Pitman’s defense held Bullard when they needed to, and after forcing the Knights to punt at the beginning of the second quarter, running back Jakob Partida was able to score on the Pride’s first play of their next possession with a 52-yard touchdown run.
Partida scored two touchdowns and finished with 161 yards on the night.
“I feel like our team is very well-balanced,” Fair said. “We can throw the ball, we can run the ball, we can do just about anything. I think that’s what makes us good.”
After fumbling the snap on their point after attempt, Pitman led Bullard 20-7. Bullard once again returned the scoring favor, making it 20-14. A fumble by Partida gave the ball back to the Knights who were able to score once more, pulling ahead of the Pride 21-20.
That was all Pitman needed to wake up, said linebacker Chris Avalos.
“We’ve never played from behind, so it was just instinct that came in at that point,” he said.
The Pride defense went on to allow just one more touchdown that didn’t come until the fourth quarter, after Pitman had already taken the lead 26-21 in the third quarter by way of a 61-yard touchdown run from Partida. Bullard pulled ahead 27-26 just four minutes into the fourth quarter following a failed two-point conversion, and the Pride took advantage.
Pitman punted on their next possession, giving the Knights the ball back with just over three minutes left to play in the game. On fourth down from Pitman’s own nine-yard line, Avalos charged through the offensive line to sack Bullard’s quarterback, giving Pitman one last opportunity to complete a game-winning drive.
“Someone had to do it, it might as well have been me,” Avalos said. “I was in the right spot, I made my read as fast as I could and it worked.”
Avalos’ big play set up a spectacular ending for the Pride when Fair connected with wide receiver Denzel Steckwren on an 87-yard touchdown pass with just three minutes left in the game — the highlight of the night and the winning play for Pitman.
“I’m glad I got my chance to show what I can do,” Steckwren said. “I knew the defense was tired, so I just ran that thing all the way. It was a magnificent throw.”
After Friday’s exciting 32-27 win, Pitman is now 4-0 and will play Summerville High School next week at 7 p.m. at Joe Debely Stadium.
“It’s our homecoming game, so there’s going to be a lot of excitement,” Fair said. “I think our main goal is to put on a show for everybody and show them what pride football is all about.”
You can catch coverage of the Pitman vs Summerville game on next week's episode of The Blitz.