Branson, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Branson Pirates rallied to defeat the Ozark Tigers 43-30 on homecoming night in Branson. It was a game of two halves, with the first half being dominated by Ozark and the second half completely controlled by the Pirates. The Pirates were led by senior running back Jordan Bailey, who had unofficially 397 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
Ozark would get on the board first when senior quarterback Clint Godfrey would cross the goal line on a 4-yard run, making the score 7-0. Godfrey would score the only touchdown in the first quarter for both teams.
When the second quarter started it appeared as if the Ozark Tigers were going to take complete control of the game. Godfrey would hit junior Caleb Essick for a 53-yard touchdown pass and then Godfrey would run 12 yards for a touchdown, giving the Tigers a 21-0 lead.
Branson would get on the board when Bailey would score on a 5 yard touchdown run. Ozark would answer right back when Godfrey would find Essick again for a 23 yard touchdown pass making the score at halftime 28 – 7.
“We really didn’t switch up anything at halftime, because of the homecoming ceremonies,” said Branson Coach Steve Hancock. “My seniors were all out there being escorts for the queen candidates. It was kids that turned around. They knew they hadn’t played well in the first half and give Ozark credit they took it to us. They were executing and we weren’t. That is the key.”
The physically play picked up for the Pirates in the second half, as the defense started to pressure Godfrey and take control of the line.
“We didn’t come out ready to play in the first quarter,” said Hancock. “We were still thinking about the homecoming stuff, but we woke up in the second half.”
When asked about Bailey’s amazing game Hancock said: “Man he’s a worm isn’t he. He is hard to catch. He made some plays in the second half.”
With his first four carries in the second half Bailey would have 199 yards and three touchdowns.
“That is crazy,” said Bailey, “I think we should have homecoming every night To come back at halftime, with a crowd like this, it’s just unbelievable. The coaches didn’t have to say anything at halftime, they flipped the switch and was all positive. They told us seniors to step up if we wanted to win this homecoming game."
Bailey’s lead blocker was senior Isaiah Daniels.
“I love blocking for JB. I told him just follow my lead," said Daniels. “On that fourth down play when we held them and they didn’t score. That was huge. It was an amazing comeback.”
When the second half started it was time for Bailey to start his heroics, as in the first minute of the Bailey would go 54 yards making the score 28-14.
Ozark still had a lead but not for long because Bailey would again score in less than three minutes making the score 28-21 on a 47-yard touchdown run.
The play of the night was when Ozark was on 4th-and-2 at the Branson 8, went for the first down and came up short, turning the ball back over to Branson. On Branson’s first snap of the ball Bailey would run 98 yards for the game-tying touchdown. The Tigers lead was now gone and the Pirates were on a roll.
Ozark's only score the second half would come when Branson had a bad snap to their punter in the end zone, giving Ozark the safety. Daniels and Bailey were not finished with their performances.
Daniels would give Branson their first lead of the night at 6:28 to go in the game with a 16-yard run. Bailey would add the two-point conversion giving the Pirates a 36-30 lead.
Ozark now was forced to pass and the Pirates would continue to dominate the offensive line of the Tigers. Godfrey was blitzed and hurried on most of his passes and they fell incomplete.
“They are strong physical team and when you only come to play 24 minutes instead of a complete game,” said Ozark coach Mark Bliss. “You are going to get beat. Our offense line did not block very well tonight.”
Bailey would score his fifth touchdown of the night when with 2:07 left to go he would score from 29 yards out making the final scored a game 43 – 30.
Ozark 7-21-0-2 30
Branson 0- 7-21-15 43
Ozark-Clint Godfrey 4 yd run (pat good)
Ozark- Caleb Essick 53yd TD pass from Godfrey (pat no good)
Ozark- Godfrey 12 yd TD run (PAT GOOD)
Branson- Jordan Bailey 8yd TD run (pat good)
Ozark- Essick 24yd TD pass from Godfrey
Branson -Bailey 54 yd TD run (PAT good)
Branson- Bailey 47yd TD run.(PAT good)
Branson- Bailey 98 yd TD run (PAT GOOD)
Ozark – Team safety
Branson- Isaiah Daniels 16ys TD run (Bailey 2 pt conv)
Branson- Bailey 29 yd TD run (PAT GOOD
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