A number of Sherman players ended their high school football careers Friday night with impressive performances in their Bearcat farewells.

A number of Sherman players ended their high school football careers Friday night with impressive performances in their Bearcat farewells.


But the one image of the 2013 finale that will persist long into the offseason is the shoving match that broke out with less than a minute left, bringing to an early end a 59-42 Bearcat victory over feisty Greenville at Bearcat Stadium.


"I can’t point fingers right now because I just don’t know," Sherman head coach Gary Kinne said. "All I was trying to do was hold our kids back. We don’t condone it and we’re very disappointed in how both teams acted at the end of the game."


Tre’ Mask and Tyson Jones each rushed for three touchdowns as Sherman jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead and kept the Lions at arm’s length the rest of the way.


Mask had 140 rushing yards to finish his three-year varsity career with 2,343 yards and 40 rushing TDs.


Jason Chavez added nine catches — one short of the school record — for 136 yards and a TD in his final game for the Bearcats (4-6, 3-4). Chavez shined on defense as well with a pair of interceptions.


"I think we really did great, and for the last game of my senior year, I really enjoyed it," Chavez said. "I tried my best, and I’m really glad we got the win."


Sherman’s defense, which went four games without an interception before netting three last week at Wylie, had seven total interceptions as a team, with sophomore Dalton Felder making three picks. Chadd Perry and Ja’Quay Pough also came up with interceptions, and Perry also returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.


Austin Roan added a field goal and was 8-of-8 on point-after attempts to finish a perfect 35-of-35 on the season and 152-of-157 for his career.


Case Rolen, who missed the last two games because of a groin strain, returned to the starting lineup and was 12-of-17 for 194 yards and a TD.


"He gave us a new dimension throwing the football," Kinne said. "You could see he was sorely missed in the last two weeks. It’s a season of what-ifs, because if he had been healthy the two weeks prior to that, who knows what would’ve happened."


Trouble was brewing throughout the night, with personal fouls on both sides, one Sherman player being ejected, and another Bearcat allowed to continue after being initially thrown out. The Bearcats were flagged 14 times for 140 yards’ worth of penalties.


It finally came to a head in the final minute.


With 51.2 seconds left, Kinne inserted big lineman Tarrence Franklin in the backfield for one last carry on fourth down. The Lions, expecting him to get the ball, stacked up Franklin when he took the handoff, and somewhere during the scrum was when the shoving started.


The entire skirmish lasted only about a minute before a half-dozen Sherman police officers were able to separate the sides and Greenville went to the dressing room.


"I’m sure they’re frustrated having lost 40 games in a row, and our kids didn’t have the season they wanted and they were frustrated too," Kinne said. "But that’s no way to act by either team."


Matthew Riskey passed for 187 yards and three touchdowns for Greenville (0-10, 0-7), which extended the second-longest active losing streak in the state. Riskey also rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown.


The Bearcats zipped out to an early 21-0 first-quarter lead as Rolen passed to Chavez, who hauled in a tipped pass in the corner of the end zone for a score, and Mask rushed for his first two TDs, all on just 10 plays from scrimmage.


"That first touchdown was a big boost for us," Rolen said.


But to Greenville’s credit, the Lions kept the game from becoming a total runaway with three second-quarter touchdowns, including two long pass plays from Riskey to D’erron Wilson and Octavion Phelps to keep the halftime margin at 38-21.


"We got up on them early and evidently we thought we were going to coast," Kinne said. "But (the Lions) were here to play and they wanted to get a win. Hats off to their kids for fighting for 10 games."


In the third quarter, as the Bearcats bogged down offensively, Greenville got a Tyler Matthews scoring run and another Riskey pass to Wilson to draw within 45-35 at the end of the third, and it was still a ballgame.


But the Bearcats burned almost five minutes off the clock and kept the drive alive with a fourth-down reverse pass from Felder to Rolen, setting up Jones’ one-yard TD tote with 7:15 left.


Felder’s third interception of the night was returned deep into Greenville territory, and Jones cashed it in from the 7 three plays later for an insurmountable 59-35 lead.


"Our kids did what they had to," Kinne said. "They scored a lot of points and did a lot of good things. A lot of people thought we’d probably check it in, but I knew our kids wouldn’t do that. I knew they’’d play hard and come out with a win."


A total of 27 seniors go out with a victory under their belts, easing somewhat the disappointment of the first losing season at Sherman since 2007.


"It’s been really difficult," Chavez said. "We’ve had our ups and downs and had a lot of mistakes, but we always tried our best and never quit."


The strong play Friday night by the underclassmen, in particular Felder, Perry, Jones and most of the offensive line, gives the Bearcats plenty of optimism for 2014.


"We look really settled-down with those kids," Kinne said. "They played outstanding football, and the offensive line has four out of five back. It’s a bright future for us, but like every year, you’ve got to find key pieces and we still have questions to be answered. But we’ve got plenty of time to do it."