BROWNWOOD — "Sometimes the things that are closest to you are the things that hurt you," said Coleman coach John Elder following Friday's stunning come-from-behind 34-28 overtime win over Cisco.
Elder was referring to a midline option play (for years a Cisco staple) that the Bluecats used repeatedly to rally from a 21-7 halftime deficit to earn the win.
Bryson Hammonds rushed for 272 yards and four scores to lead Coleman (11-1), which advances to face Idalou (10-0) in the Region I-3A Division II semifinals next week.
Hammonds' final score was the game-winner — coming on a 1-yard sneak in the second overtime.
Cisco, which got 138 yards rushing and two scores from Taylor Massey, finished its season at 10-2.
"We just made some adjustments at the half," Coleman coach John Elder said. "We started running some stuff that we hadn't on worked much, but it started working for us.
"We were in pretty good shape and we deserved to be in this game. We never believed that we were out of it. We thought we deserved to be in the game and had a chance to win it."
Switching from their base I-formation to an old-fashioned "power-I," the Bluecats simply ran right at a Cisco team known for its own brand of physical football and took the game away from the Loboes after the break.
Trailing by two touchdowns at the half, the Bluecats pulled to within one score when Hammonds found the end zone on a 4-yard keeper with 10:41 to play. Mason Burkey's PAT was blocked. But after Hammonds bolted 79 yards for a score on an option keeper with 7:12 to play, he connected with Kyle Boyet with a two-point conversion pass to knot the game at 21.
Following a failed Cisco drive that ended with a punt, the Bluecats gave themselves a shot at winning when they pushed from their 27 to the Cisco 15 in eight plays, but a fumble by Hammonds was recovered by Cisco, ending the threat.
The first overtime ended with an exchange of touchdowns — a 1-yard run by Hammonds and a 4-yard run by Zain Wright, sending the game into a second OT.
Cisco's final possession, which began with two fumbled snaps, ended with an incomplete pass from Massey to Kase Gayle. Six plays later, Hammonds ended it on a keeper on fourth-and-goal from the Cisco 1.
"We came out and ran our offense the way it was supposed to be run," Hammonds said. "We got 5 and 6 yards a pop, came out in overtime and won it. ... I felt like I had it. I didn't want the game in anyone else's hands but mine."
Early on, however, it didn't appear Hammonds would have that opportunity.
Cisco used a series of defensive stops to gain control of the game in the first half, limiting Coleman to one score in five possessions.
The Loboes took the lead with 7:21 left in the first quarter when Massey crossed the goal line on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.
A Coleman fumble at the Cisco 44 set up the Loboes' next score — a 32-yard touchdown pass from Massey to Zain Wright at the 2:07 mark of the first quarter.
The Bluecats posted their only first-half score on the ensuing possession when Hammonds hit Burkey with a 22-yard touchdown pass with 11:53 left in the half.
Coleman appeared to gain the momentum briefly, forcing Cisco into a three-and-out on the ensuing possession. But after being forced into a three-and-out of their own, Coleman's punt was followed by Cisco's third touchdown of the half — a 42-yard scamper by Massey at the 7:07 mark of the second quarter.
Coleman had an opportunity before the break to pull within one score late in the half, but lost the ball on downs at the Cisco 10 when Hammonds was stopped on fourth-and-5 at the Loboes' 10-yard line.
"We had 10- and 15-yard penalties on a couple of occasions when we were trying to go down and win the game," Cisco coach Brent West said. "Then in overtime, we had a mistake here and there, a fumbled snap and some uncharacteristic mistakes. We made too many of them to beat a good team."
CLASS 3A DIV. II AREA ROUND
COLEMAN 34, CISCO 28
Coleman 0 7 0 14 7 6 — 34
Cisco 14 7 0 0 7 0 — 28
CIS — Taylor Massey 1 run (Cord Lewis kick), 7:21
CIS — Zain Wright 32 pass from Massey (Lewis kick), 2:07
COL — Mason Burkey 22 pass from Bryson Hammonds (Burkey kick), 11:53
CIS — Massey 42 run (Lewis kick), 7:07
COL — Hammonds 4 run (Burkey kick), 10:41
COL — Hammonds 79 run (Boyett pass from Hammonds), 7:12
COL — Hammonds 1 run (Burkey kick)
CIS — Wright 4 run (Lewis kick)
COL — Hammonds 1 run (no kick)
First downs 17 9
Rushes-Yards 33-391 29-245
Passing 48 93
Comp-Att-Int 5-7-0 5-7-1
Punts 3-34 4-39
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-0
Penalties-Yards 2-10 6-75
RUSHING — Coleman, Bryson Hammonds 33-272, Kyle Boyett 24-82, Terran Holloway 7-27, Riley Harris 3-10. Cisco, Taylor Massey 10-138, Kase Gayle 7-51, Zain Wright 11-49, Cecil Beasley 1-7.
PASSING — Coleman, Hammonds 5-7-0—48. Cisco, Taylor Massey 5-7-0—93.
RECEIVING — Coleman, Mason Burkey 3-40, Gino Marks 2-9, Kyle Boyet 1-3. Cisco, Zain Wright 4-67, Dylan Brunson 1-26.
RECORDS — Coleman 11-1; Cisco 10-2.