Mohawks Notch Big Road Win
After sitting out the final three quarters of Friday's game against Portageville following an asthma attack, Piggott senior captain Logan Dixon was back on the field when his team needed him the most.
With only 36 seconds left to play in regulation and the two teams knotted up, Dixon re-entered the game for the first time since the first quarter and took three straight handoffs starting at the Bulldogs' 18-yard line.
On the final one the 6-2, 175 pound running back sprinted up the right side for a 15-yard score to put the Mohawks ahead by the 32-26 final with just six seconds left on the clock.
"I really thought he was out the rest of the game," Piggott head coach Michael Harrell said of Dixon. "I had not planned on him being back. He had 200 yards rushing last week for us. He's a good running back. Up in the press box they saw something. I have awesome guys up in the booth and they told me what they saw, we just ran what they wanted to run and Logan hit it."
Even with less than one full quarter of play Dixon was unquestionably the biggest difference-maker against the Bulldogs.
Before suffering his asthma attack late in the first quarter, Dixon already had 50 yards rushing and two scores to his name. The first came on a seven-yard run to cap his team's opening drive.
He followed that with a 96-yard interception return for a touchdown on Portageville's second offensive series to put his team ahead 12-0 with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter.
Between the first quarter and final drive, when Dixon was on the sideline, Piggott was forced to simplify their playbook and were outscored 26-14.
"He had an asthma attack and I had another guy go out with a concussion," Harrell said. "So we had two or three different guys outs and people plugging in at different spots. We had to condense the playbook down and was on crisis mode, but we made it work."
While Dixon got the Mohawks going, Portageville was guilty of self-sabotage in the first quarter, fumbling on just their second offensive play of the night and giving up Dixon's 96-yard pick-six to end their second drive.
A 20-point second quarter got the Bulldogs out of their hole, but the bad start and their inconsistent offense haunted them the rest of the way.
Still trailing 20-7 with less then three minutes to go in the half, the Bulldogs used two big plays involving Will Crysler to even things up going into the locker room.
Quarterback Jon Garrett Kellams lateraled to Ian Torrey, who threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Crysler with 2:57 before the break to make it 20-13.
Piggott tried to mount one last scoring drive going into the half when Crysler picked off a Bret Fuller pass and returned it 72 yards for a score with 15.7 seconds remaining. The point after tied things up at 20-20.
"I should have known better to throw the ball 15 seconds before the half," Harrell said. "That's my fault. It's Coaching 101. I put our defense in a bad spot a couple of times, but our kids are resilient."
Once again tied, at 26-26, following matching fourth quarter touchdown drives, the Mohawks started their final drive at their own 38-yard-line with 4:33 to play.
Piggott converted a key 4th-and-2 and took advantage of a Bulldog encroachment penalty on their way to the Portageville 18 yard-line where they called their first timeout with 36 seconds left.
Dixon entered the game and gained three yards on his first carry before being stopped at the line for no gain on his second.
Harrell burned his second timeout with on 2nd-and-11 on the 15 yard-line with 13.5 seconds to play to second up Dixon's fateful final run.
Fuller handed off to Dixon on a sweep up the right side for the game-winning score.
Portageville jumped on the ensuing squib kick at their own 41-yard line and set up for one last play.
Kellams sent up a long pass that went in, then out of a well-defended receivers hands as time expired.
"I'm really upset because we didn't get effort," Bulldogs' head coach Jeff Bullock said. "You have to play with heart, especially when you're undersized like us. If you aren't willing to stick a helmet in, it's going to be tough to win football games.
"That's what happened tonight."
Piggott's ground game helped them easily control time of possession, running 74 offensive plays to Portageville's 40.
On 71 rushes the Mohawks' gained all 353 of their total yards with only three passes attempted, all in the first half, including one that was returned for a defensive touchdown.
Portageville (2-2) gained only 16 yards on 11 carries while going 13 of 24 through the air for 211 yards and two scores.
Kellams went 12 of 23 for 168 yards with Torrey his biggest target, catching six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Crysler finished with three receptions for 84 yards and both an offensive and defensive touchdown.
Piggott (2-0) out-gained the Bulldogs 353-227 in total yards.
"We knew all night what they were going to do," Bullock said. "They ran four plays the whole night, yet we chose not to stop it. We had guys that weren't willing to stick a helmet in there and hit people.
"At the end of the night it's tackle football, not flag football. If we aren't willing to tackle, a team runs four plays and we won't stop them."
The Mohawks return to action Friday night at Rector, as they renew their longstanding rivalry with the Cougars. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. and a large crowd is expected to be in attendance.
"I have all the respect in the world for Coach Hendrix, he's my mentor," Harrell said of Friday night's opponent. "I know they've had their issues, but I can tell you while we may have a few more good athletes right now, they've definitely got the better coach. I expect them to give us a good game."