GARY | Bowman proved its mettle at River Forest on Friday night.
Antonio Pipkin led Bowman Academy back from a two-touchdown deficit and held off a River Forest charge to win 28-26 in the sectional opener.
Pipkin threw for 165 yards and a pair of long scoring passes in the second half. The Eagles scored 22 unanswered points in the final quarter and a half, mostly on the arm of Pipkin.
The Ingots had a chance late. River Forest pushed the ball deep into Bowman territory in the final three minutes. Bowman (6-4) even spotted River Forest a pair of penalties on the drive.
But after John Flores' one-yard touchdown run brought the Ingots within two points, Rich Pennington's conversion pass sailed out of the back of the end zone to close out the contest.
River Forest recovered the subsequent on-side kick with 39 ticks left on the clock. But Pennington was sacked as time expired.
Pipkin's 44-yard pass to Jalen Knight for a 44-yard touchdown in the third quarter brought the score to 20-14 and sparked the comeback.
The Eagles scored first when Pipkin found DeShawn Franklin for a 32-yard score on the game's opening drive.
It only took a little over two minutes for the Ingots (3-7) to respond with a 17-yard Pennington run that tied the game at 6-6.
Pennington put River Forest in front in the second quarter. The senior quarterback scrambled to his right and an Eagles defender left freshman receiver Luis Cordero. Pennington found him for a 28-yard score.
Knight opened the second half by picking off Pennington's first throw. Bowman gave the ball right back, though, on a fumble on its next play.
Pennington would score a few plays later on a one-yard score.
River Forest came into the game on five-game losing streak.