Tribe Falls in OT to Timberwolves
The Piggott Mohawks hosted the Cedar Ridge Timberwolves in an emotionally charged homecoming contest Friday night at Parker Field, but saw victory slip away in overtime as they fell 20-18. The contest included big plays, costly turnovers and mental errors by both squads--as the two teams battled to remain in the hunt for a playoff berth.
With his team somewhat banged-up, but getting better, Coach Michael Harrell continued to seek the winning combination. After recently moving quarterback Bret Fuller to tight end, and switching sophomore signal caller Hayden Lemmons into a starting spot, the second year coach hoped he had found the proper mix. But, the Mohawk offense had its issues with the talented visitors, as they were limited to a total of 200 yards.
Amid the pageantry of homecoming, which included delivery of the game ball by helicopter to mid-field, the two squads squared-off before a large partisan crowd. The Mohawks won the coin toss, and deferred to the second half, instead choosing to give their defense first shot.
With the wind at his back, Piggott's Seth Lacey booted it deep to start the ballgame, but the Timberwolves got a good return back to near mid-field. Setting up from their own 45, they immediately began to establish their running game, which so far this season, has netted them an average of 370 yards per game.
Jordan Bumpous picked up the first Timberwolf first down, and Keagan Harrison kept the drive alive as the ball moved into Mohawk territory. Cedar Ridge's top rusher, Kyler Northcutt, tried the middle of the Tribe defense next, but was met with a host of tacklers led by Trace Stallings and was dropped for a loss of a yard. Despite a Cedar Ridge penalty, the Timberwolves picked up another first down and continued to drive although the Mohawks got good defensive efforts by Bret Fuller, Dakota Santos, Cade Harrell and Gabe Gilbee.
After driving deep into Mohawk territory, Cedar Ridge turned the ball over on downs as Harrison came up short on fourth down. This set up the Tribe's first drive, which began with two short runs by Logan Dixon. Mohawk fullback Landon Williams got the nod on third down, and suffered a leg injury which would plague him the remainder of the evening.
Following the injury timeout, the Mohawks jumped off-sides and were faced with third and long. Cody Crittenden got some of the yardage back, but the Tribe was forced to punt it away from the 17. With the wind at his back, Stallings got a good punt off and the Timberwolves were pushed back to their own 33.
On their second drive Cedar Ridge methodically marched downfield, mixing short and long runs, as they scored from a yard out with 1:39 to go in the first quarter. But, the Mohawk special teams stuffed the runner on the two-point conversion attempt and the score stood at 6-0.
On the following Mohawk possession the Tribe continued to have trouble moving the football, as senior fullback Williams remained on the sideline. The first quarter drew to a close with the Tribe facing fourth down and eight from their own 40.
On the first play of the second the Mohawk offense tried to draw the defense off sides-then called a timeout. Stallings then ripped-off a 15 yard gain over the left side, keeping the Piggott drive alive. Moments later Dixon weaved through the defense, then outran the Timberwolves 46 yards to the end zone, for the Mohawk's first score. But, Lacey's PAT attempt to break the tie was wide left, and the score stood at 6-6.
The Timberwolves began the following drive with good field position, but big tackles by Nate Mallard, Michael Massey and Dalton Morris slowed their progress and they faced another fourth down. Powell was able to find the distance for the first, but moments later Stallings dropped the Timberwolves' ball carrier for a big loss, bringing up another fourth down. This time Harrell made a big stop for the Tribe, and the ball went back over to the home team.
Once again the Mohawks tried to mount a drive behind the running of Dixon, and Justin Goding, who was returning from injury. But, once again the Mohawks found themselves faced with fourth down and were forced to punt it back to Cedar Ridge.
The Timberwolves responded with a strong drive, as they drove it deep into Piggott territory. But, the Mohawk defense was able to hold on fourth down, flushing Powell out of the pocket and forcing him to throw the ball away. At the half the score stood at 6-6.
After a good return by Stallings to start the third quarter, the Mohawks had a long run by Dixon negated on off-setting penalties. Afterward, facing fourth and five, the Cedar Ridge defense dropped Dixon in the backfield and took over on downs. The visitors then capitalized on the opportunity, with Bumpous scoring from about six yards out. But, once again the two-point conversion was stuffed and the score stood at 12-6 with 6:39 to go in the third.
The following Mohawk drive also sputtered, and Stallings punted the ball back to the Timberwolves. But, the Piggott defense rose to the occasion, flushing Powell from the pocket and knocking the ball loose, with Stallings recovering the fumble.
The Tribe then began to put together a strong drive, and on the final play of the third Harrell dragged defenders 17 yards as he carried it to the Timberwolves' 16. The fourth quarter began with strong runs by Dixon, and Williams as he returned to action, and Lemmons scored on the quarterback sneak with 9:38 to play. But, once again Stallings was unable to get it across on the two point conversion attempt and the score stood at 12-12.
Both teams had chances to break the deadlock as the fourth quarter progressed, and both were hampered by penalties, mistakes and big plays by the opposing defense. As regulation drew to a close the Timberwolves pushed the ball deep into Piggott territory, but having already used their timeouts they were unable to stop the clock and a last-ditch field goal attempt was blocked by the Mohawk defense. With the score at 12 to 12 the game went into overtime.
The Timberwolves got first shot from the 10 in OT, and on second down Harrison was able to push it across for their third touchdown. This time the two point conversion was good by Northcutt, and the lead stood at 20-12.
Once again Harrell looked to his talented senior running back, and Dixon was able to get to the endzone to keep the Mohawks alive. But, a flag was thrown on the touchdown, and the Tribe penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct--and the 15 yards that come with the call. Facing a nearly 18 yard two-point conversion, the Mohawks came up short and the game ended at 20-18.
Dixon led all rushers with 143 yards on 24 carries, while Northcutt paced the Timberwolves with 112 yards on 24 carries. Rounding out the Mohawk effort was Harrell with 34 yards on 6 carries, Stallings had 19 yards on 2 carries and Williams finished with 10 yards on 3 totes. Cedar Ridge racked-up a total of 383 yards on offense, while the Tribe had an even 200.
With the loss the Mohawks fall to 4-2 and 1-2 in conference play. They'll be back in action Friday night on the road at Melbourne to take on the Bearkatz, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.