Mr. Football semifinalists Seth Price and Rusty Staats helped the Purple Tigers overcome their playoff woes as several players contributed to the balanced win for Watertown.
The Purple Tigers didn’t find the end zone until 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter after neither team found much rhythm in the opening frame. Price found his brother, Heath, on a 28-yard pass to start the Watertown night.
Staats would recover a fumble as time expired in the first quarter to set up another Price touchdown pass to Brady Swann for 18 yards less than a minute into the second quarter.
Vonte Bates joined the scoring party on a 22-yard pass from Price with 1:35 remaining in the half. The trio would finish with 19 catches for 218 yards, with Swann leading with 104 yards followed by Price (66) and Bates (48).
Jeremy Borders rushed 69 yards for his first touchdown of the night with 11 seconds remaining to give Boyd Buchanan its only score of the first half as Watertown took a 19-7 lead into intermission.
The Purple Tigers did all of their scoring on the ground in the second half with the group rushing for 150 yards in the second half.
Ty Love, playing in his first game since an injury three weeks ago, returned to the end zone on a 3-yard rush with just less than 5 minutes remaining in the quarter. Love finished with 113 yards on 29 carries in his return.
Borders cut into the Watertown lead on the Buccaneers’ next possession with a 40-yard scoring run. The touchdown cut Watertown’s lead to 11 at 25-14 with 2:58 remaining in the third quarter.
Price would return the favor on Watertown’s ensuing possession with a 21-yard rushing score of his own. The quarterback rushed for 75 yards in the second half. Watertown carried a 31-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
Watertown held Boyd Buchanan to a 28-yard field goal from Eli Terrell early in the fourth quarter and answered with a touchdown four minutes later.
Price capped off a 10-play, 67-yard drive with a 2-yard quarterback sneak to put the game away for Watertown.
Borders trimmed the Watertown final score as he scored his third rushing touchdown of the night on an 8-yard run.
Watertown will travel to Jasper on Friday to face the No. 1 seed out of Region 3, Marion County High School, at 7 p.m.
Boyd Buchanan 24, Watertown 38
BB 0 7 7 10—24
WT 6 13 12 7—38
WT—Price 28 pass from Price, (Gutierrez kick failed), 0:17
WT— Swann 18 pass from Price, (2 point failed), 11:15
WT— Bates 22 pass from Price, (Gutierrez kick), 1:35
BB—Borders 69 run, (Terrell kick), 0:11
WT—Love 3 run, (Gutierrez kick failed), 4:56
BB—Borders 40 run, (Terrell kick), 2:58
WT—Price 21 run, (2 point failed), 1:00
BB—Terrell 28 kick, 9:38
WT—Price 2 run, (Gutierrez kick), 5:19
BB—Borders 8 run, (Terrell kick), 2:24
First Downs 14 23
Rushes-yards 26-198 41-219
Passing yards 159 245
Return yards 99 85
Comp.-Att. 15-31 21-28
Punts-yards 4-118 1-39
Penalties-Yards 6-40 10-48
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-2
RUSHING—Boyd Buchanan, Borders 21-194, Pettway 2-4, Wortman 3-0. Watertown, Love 29-113, Swann 1-5, Price 10-80, Hill 1-2.
PASSING—Boyd Buchanan, Wortman 13-28-124, Broome 1-2-3, Borders 1-1-32. Watertown, Price 21-28-245.
RECEIVING—Boyd Buchanan, Morris 6-42, Pettway 1-5, Bearden 5-46, Borders 1-3, Evans 1-20, Owens 1-43. Watertown, Bates 8-48, Swann 5-104, Price 6-66, Love 1-20, White 1-7.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Gutierrez, 25.