East failed on a two-point conversion attempt.
With still plenty of time and needing only a touchdown to take a lead, it was up to the East defense to keep Bullitt at bay.
Up to that point in the half, the East defense had held the Cougars to minus-2 yards and no first downs on two drives.
“I don’t know what yardage (Bullitt) had in the second half, but it was very limited,” Bowlin said. “We really stuffed them in the second half by getting after them.”
The defense continued to thrive during its third campaign, forcing two fumbles; however, the Jags did not recover the ball, allowing the Cougars continued to push deeper into East territory.
“We were a little tired, legs were a little dead and we couldn’t get the right person (to the loose ball),” Bowlin said. “One time we tried to scoop and score, I think we saw the end zone.”
Bullitt was able to get all the way down to the East 15-yard line before the defense stood them up on four straight plays.
Taking over at their own 15-yard line, East bled the clock down to 21 seconds before being forced to punt.
The defense held again, forcing four straight incompletions to give East the come-from-behind victory.
“(Bullitt Central) is a little limited in their passing game; that’s not their thing; they’re more like we are,” Bowlin said. “We just played our defense, played back, and the kids did a great job.”
The Jaguars trailed all but the final eight minutes. Bullitt Central took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass play.
East drew within one on a 1-yard touchdown run by Garrett. The two-point conversion failed.
Garrett rushed for 2 yards on five carries. He was 2-for-2 passing for 46 yards.
James Russell caught an 11-yard pass during East’s first scoring drive.
Bullitt took a 10-6 lead into the locker room after hitting a 23-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining in the half. The Cougars were set up on East’s 9-yard line following a muffed punt.
“When we goal-line-stood them right after the fumbled punt, we really got after them, and I started finding out that we could probably pressure them a little bit with more blitzes,” Bowlin said.
Brandon Back brought East within one point again in the third quarter, hitting a 30-yard field goal with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter.
East racked up 338 total yards of offense but struggled with turnovers at big moments.
A fumble during a handoff between Garrett and Thomas ended a promising drive by East on its first possession. It gave the ball up on the Bullitt 12-yard line.
The muffed punt gave Bullitt the ball less than 10 yards from pay dirt.
Garrett fumbled on the Bullitt 10-yard line on East’s first possession of the second half as well.
Tyler Nguyen was able to recover a fumble for the East defense in the first half.
The East defense is holding oppenents to an average of 14.5 points and 203 yards a game through four games.
East is at home on Friday, hosting its first district opponent, Woodford County (4-0), at 7:30 p.m.