By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer
Bovina coach Kent Torbert gambled, and as a result the Mustangs beat county rival Friona on Friday night for the first time in 43 years.
After being given a second life by an offside penalty, Josh Guevara scored a two-point conversion to give Bovina a 15-14 overtime victory.
“The call was 55 power,” Torbert said. “It’s been a good play for us all year. I don’t think we’ve lost yardage on it. We preach all the time that we have to be able to get a yard or two when we need it.
Torbert said Friona’s fans were in disbelief.
“It was really strange,” he said. “Their side was silent and ours was going nuts.”
Friona had beaten the Mustangs all 12 times the teams have played since 1962.
“They are truly inspiring to me,” Torbert said of his players. “They just willed themselves to two wins. Right now they feel like they shouldn’t get beat.”
Since an opening loss to Morton, the Mustangs have been on a roll. Bovina ended Texico’s 25-game win streak in week two, but its victory over Friona was an even rarer accomplishment.
The rest of Class 1A is starting to take notice.
Farwell coach Jacob Thompson said Bovina is playing the best ball in the district so far this season.
“I tip my hat to them and what they’ve done so far,” Thompson said. “If we don’t get healthy and playing better, we’re gonna stay home and they’re gonna go (to the playoffs).”
The Mustangs, 2-8 last season, are 2-1 this year and are looking to continue their winning ways.
“If we keep taking care of business, it could be a good year for us,” Torbert said.
Friona and Bovina were tied 7-7 on Friday heading into overtime. The Mustangs won the coin toss and choose to play defense first. Eddy Ortiz scored and put the Chieftains up 14-7.
The Mustangs had to get into the end zone or lose — a daunting task in any situation, but even more so considering Bovina had not scored since the first quarter.
Even though they only had seven points in regulation, Torbert said the Mustangs had no trouble in overtime.
“We lined up in a spread formation. Four passes and we had a touchdown,” he said.
Michael Ortiz caught a 10-yard pass from Trent Quintana. The Chieftains then blocked the extra point kick and thought they won the game, but there was a flag on the play — Friona was offside.
The penalty moved the extra point attempt half the distance from the 3-yard line. Torbert said those 54 inches made him change his mind and go for the win.