Mohawks Stumble on Last Minute Play at Brookland

Thursday, September 19, 2013
Mohawk Justin "Animal" Clifford clings to Brookland quarterback Drake Rainwater for a sack in action Friday night

Friday night's contest between the Piggott Mohawks and the hosting Brookland Bearcats was a potent display of offense from the two teams, resulting in a total of 89 points scored. Unfortunately for the Tribe, Brookland emerged the victor in the back-and-forth struggle, 45-44.

The hosts tied the contest at 44-44 on a 15-yard touchdown scamper by quarterback Drake Rainwater with 1:59 remaining in the contest. The following PAT gave Brookland the one-point edge, setting the final score in place.

Piggott entered the fourth quarter trailing 38-36, but took the lead on a three-yard touchdown carry by Nick Haywood with 8:59 left in the frame. The Mohawks overcame an illegal motion penalty on their first attempt at the two-point conversion thanks to Bradley Stephens' incredible sliding catch of an Austin Murray pass on the second attempt. Second attempts were the norm on the drive, as the Mohawks had a 19-yard touchdown run by Mick McKinnie called back on a holding penalty at the start of the fourth quarter.

Penalties played a role for both clubs on the evening. Piggott finished the night with nine penalties for a total of 80 yards. Brookland gave back 120 yards on 15 infractions.

The Mohawks went up 7-0 in the first quarter. McKinnie intercepted a pass near the Mohawks' 35-yard-line and brought the ball to the Brookland 43-yard-line. A Haywood carry and an offsides penalty against Brookland set up a 25-yard touchdown romp by Stephens with 4:22 remaining in the opening frame. The PAT sailed true to give the Tribe a 7-0 lead.

Brookland wasted no time, replying with a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff return by Blake Yarbrough. The hosts ran in a successful two-point conversion, taking an 8-7 lead with 4:04 left in the quarter.

Piggott took the ball with great field position after securing the ball on an onside kick attempt by the hosts. Starting from their own 49, the tribe quickly made tracks to the Bearcat 11-yard-line on a Murray to Stephens pass. McKinnie brought the ball down to the eight before another offsides call against Brookland placed the ball at the three. Murray ran in a keeper with 3:06 remaining in the first period. The try for succeeded on a carry by Stephens, who had the ball come free on his run only for the pigskin to pinwheel its way back into his arms following a fortunate bounce. The Mohawks moved ahead, 15-8.

Brookland scored on a 13-yard keeper by Rainwater with 41 seconds remaining in the quarter. Yarbrough ran in the conversion to give the Bearcats a 16-15 lead.

Brookland moved ahead 24-15 10:10 left in the first half on a 35-yard pass from Rainwater to Yarbrough. The hosts got the ball back on an interception to start the second quarter.

Back-to-back powerful carries by Haywood and Stephens chewed up 40 yards for the Mohawks, giving Piggott first and goal at the seven-yard-line. Murray capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown with 8:45 left in the half. Stephens carried in the conversion on a reverse, bringing the Tribe within a point of the lead, 25-24.

The Mohawks moved ahead, 29-24, on a five-yard touchdown run by Stephens with 2:44 left in the second quarter. The try for two was halted. A 14-yard carry by Haywood and a 10-yard rush by McKinnie helped set the stage for the touchdown.

The Bearcats reclaimed the lead with an eight-yard touchdown run from Brett Robinson with 54 seconds left before intermission. The try for two succeeded, putting the hosts in the lead, 32-29.

The teams added a touchdown each in the third quarter. Piggott scored on a four-yard rush by Stephens with 3:48 remaining in the frame. The successful PAT put the tribe in front, 36-32. Brookland scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Rainwater with 1:00 remaining. The Mohawks secondary knocked down the pass on the ensuing two-point try, keeping the Brookland advantage at two, 38-36.

Haywood and Stephens carried the load for the Tribe on the evening. Haywood gained 152 yards with a touchdown on 16 carries. Stephens scored three times with 134 yards on 14 carries. McKinnie gained 40 yards on nine carries. Murray picked up two touchdowns and 26 yards on eight rushes.

Murray added 41 yards on 1-9 passing with two interceptions.

Piggott had more total yards than Brookland, posting a total of 396 yards to the hosts' 308.

Piggott junior running back and defensive lineman Garrett Cook suffered a broken leg in the third quarter of the game. The injury occurred when a helmet struck him below the left knee, breaking both bones in the leg. Cook was in good spirits as he was taken from the field by stretcher to a nearby ambulance, giving his teammates a "thumbs up" and encouraging words. Surgery was required for the injury, with reports from family members indicating Cook was able to return home Sunday. He is not expected to return to action this season. Mohawks players, coaches and fans have expressed massive amounts of support for the young man and his family.

The Tribe moved to 0-1-1 on the season with the loss to Brookland. The Mohawks are set to host the Patriots of Palestine-Wheatley beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Parker Field in Piggott. PHS defeated Palestine-Wheatley 36-6 last season, the first recorded matchup between the two in football.

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