The Joshua Owls almost pulled off an unlikely comeback with two late scores, but fell just short, 30-27, against Waco University on homecoming at Owl Stadium.
The Owls trailed, 30-13, with 10:42 left in the game, but after forcing a Trojan punt, senior quarterback Brandon Gest scored on a one-yard run to bring the Owls to within 10 points with 7:34 remaining.
After recovering an onside kick, Gest then hit Tyler Stone on a 38-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to bring the score to 30-27, but the Owls could not complete the comeback as the Trojans forced a late turnover on downs and killed the clock.
Joshua got on the board first as the defense held and blocked a Trojan punt. Mario Miranda kicked a 31-yard field goal to put the Owls on top 3-0 midway through the opening quarter.
University responded with a five-yard run from Joseph Carpenter to make it 7-3 before another Miranda field goal to cut the lead to 7-6 at the tail end of the first quarter.
The Trojans then made the biggest play of the first half when defensive back Caleb Russell intercepted a Gest pass and ran it back to the Owls' seven-yard line. Senior running back Jeremiah Stroupe took it in from a yard out to stretch the lead to 14-6.
Gest came right back and hit Stone with the first of his two scores on the night, this one from 30 yards out to pull the Owls back within one at 14-13.
After Stroupe had a 72-yard touchdown called back for holding, the Trojans drove down to the Owl 12, but Joshua's defense held and forced a 27-yard field goal from Chris Balderas with 0:10 left in the half to give the Trojans a 17-13 lead at halftime.
The third quarter belonged to the Trojans. After intercepting a Gest pass, Carpenter ripped off a 49-yard run, and University quarterback Jacob Bryant took it in from the four several plays later to stretch the lead to 23-13.
A little over a minute into the fourth, Stroupe took off for a 39-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 17, before the Owls' late comeback attempt.
Gest completed 20-of-33 passes for 322 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Stroup led the offensive attack for the Trojans with 228 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.
The Owls(0-6) have a bye in week 7 before traveling to Arlington to face Seguin on Oct. 18.