COLLEGE STATION, TX -- A&M Consolidated High School honored it's 1991 State football champions during halftime Friday night at Tigerland Stadium and then watched the current Tiger team demonstrate that "Heart of a Champion" attitude in a come from behind 30-23 overtime win over Harker Heights.
Before the game, Hall Of Fame Tiger Head Football Coach Ross Rogers put on the last link completing the "Chain That Binds Us" in the Tigerland Field house.
Current Head Coach David Raffield said,"This one is special fellas. We are all playing for each other, and once a Tiger, always a Tiger!"
They were certainly motivating words, but the Tigers in their 1991 "throw-back uniforms" didn't play inspired football in the first half.
Consolidated did strike first and got on the board courtesy of a 15 yard touchdown run by Quintin White, 6-0 Tigers.
It appeared that would be the halftime score, but in the final 56 seconds of the second quarter the Knights struck for 20 unanswered points.
Harker Height's quarterback C.J. Rodriguez scored on a 1 yard sneak set up by a "reverse -throw-back" that put the Knights inside the Consolidated 10 yard line.
After the ensuing kickoff, Jacob Bronowski threw his third interception of the half. The pick by Naashon Hughes returned 24 yards for a touchdown giving Heights a 12-6 lead after the PAT was missed.
The Tigers try to make something happen in the final 30 seconds of the half, but Bronowski is swallowed up by the Knight's defensive line. Before he can hit the turf, the ball is stripped loose and Marcus Reo pulls off the "scoop and score" from 36 yards out and in less than a minute Harker Heights has score 20 unanswered points and leads it at the break 20-6.
"I've never had anything like that happen to me before, and I don't want to experience it again," said Raffield after the game. "Luckily the kids took to heart what we said at halftime about taking it one play at a time and we got back in the game with a solid third period," concluded the first year Tiger head coach.
A&M Consolidated will score 17 unanswered points over the next 14 minutes and will take a 23-20 lead with 9:57 left in the 4th quarter. Bronowski scoring on a one yard quarterback sneak. Consolidated defensive tackle J.J. Bynum was brought on for that play as the Tigers lined up in their "Jumbo Set".
Bynum, who lining up in the backfield, but didn't get the ball, did talk plenty of trash before the ball was snapped, causing the Knights to consider that the big d-lineman might try to register his second touchdown of the year.
The Bronowski touchdown gives the Tigers their first lead since that disastrous final minute of the first half.
Harker Heights would answer with a field goal with under 4 minutes to play, knotting the game at 23.
While Consolidated couldn't counter and win it in regulation, they did find the end zone on their first possession of overtime.
Bronowski with a four yard touchdown pass to Justin Benden putting the Tigers back on top 30-23.
It would then be up to the Tiger defense and they answer the challenge. Harker Heights will move the ball down to the Consolidated's 15, but they would get no closer. Fredrick Goodman with a tackle for loss. Then on 4th and 23, Harker Height's Greg Haynes has no choice but to scramble with no one open and try to pick up the first down at the 5. He is able to gain some positive yards, but gets nailed out of bounds by David Levias and the Tigers post their first overtime win of the year 30-23.
"I am so proud of the way the kid's fought back and believed they could win tonight," said Raffield after the game. "It's a great night to be a Tiger!"
A&M Consolidated (5-4, 5-1) heads to Belton next week to wrap up the regular season and will be looking to pick up it's second win in a row and 6th in the last seven weeks.