For our week 5 RockTown Sports Game of the Week, Central Arkansas Christian (5-0) welcomed the Mills Comets (1-4) to Mustang Mountain for a 3A-2 conference match-up that eventually came down to the final play.
CAC started things off with the ball on their own 35 as a result of the opening kickoff from Mills going out of bounds. After converting on two fourth downs, they were not able to score from the Comet 3-yard line on a drive that took almost half of the first quarter.
Mills running back Daniel Brown broke a big run off the left side putting the ball on the Mustang 22, resulting in a touchdown from nine yards out by Tyler Sanders. After the successful two-point conversion, the Comets took an early lead 8-0 with 3:57 remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, CAC quarterback Palmer Gilbrech found Tyler Williams down the left sideline for a 33-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good as Mills still held the lead 8-6 with 3:02 remaining in the first quarter.
CAC went with an onside kick moments later and recovered as Ty Bahnks was able to jump on it. They moved the ball down to the Mills one, but with :40 remaining the Comets forced a fumble that was recovered on their own ten.
As we got into the second quarter Cole Shoemaker made a big fourth down stop, but Mills was able to keep CAC from capitalizing returning the favor and getting a fourth down stop of their own. For the remainder of the first half, both teams were able to move the ball but unable to finish drives resulting in any points.
Mills started the second half strong, but a fumble recovery by Cole Shoemaker gave CAC the ball on their own 44. Gilbrech quickly found Jackson Richmond down the right sideline who made a great catch to put the Mustangs at the Mills 9. Three plays later, Williams got his second score of the night giving the Mustangs the lead 12-8 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
“Tyler was a bellcow tonight,” CAC head coach Tommy Shoemaker said. “Jackson made some great catches. We just made plays when we had to make them. Very proud of our guys for hanging in there and battling.”
After Ethan DeMarco made a fourth down stop in the final minutes of the third quarter, CAC had something going at the start of the 4th quarter in Comet territory but the series ended after a failed 4th down attempt.
Daniel Brown gave the momentum back to Mills as he darted fifty yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 7:29 remaining in the game now leading 14-12. CAC faced a 4th and 7 on the following drive, but a big catch on the sideline by Jackson Richmond kept the Mustangs threatening. A strong run with multiple broken tackles from Williams allowed CAC to convert on a third down with just over three minutes to play putting the ball on the Mills eight.
Williams, lined up in the wildcat, sent Carlito London in motion from the left side and took the ball from Williams for the go-ahead score from five yards out retaking the lead 20-14 with 2:36 left.
Mills punched back returning the ensuing kickoff into Mustang territory with just over a minute left to play. The Comets made it to the CAC 15 with :14 left, but on third and one Cole Shoemaker shot the gap to sack QT King sealing the 20-14 win.
“Each week we are going to get everyone’s best effort,” Shoemaker stated. “We always have to be ready to go in all phases of the game.”
Published by Kyle Sutherland, @k_sutherlandHTP on Twitter