Wildcats drop overtime thriller to visiting Longhorns
The new turf at Blake Smiley didn’t get broken in with a win as was the plan for many Madill fans on Sept. 13. Instead, it was the visiting Lone Grove Longhorns who left victorious with a slim 22-20 overtime victory.
The Wildcats were trailing 14-7 when they began a drive at their own 32 with 3:17 to go in the fourth quarter.
After an incomplete pass by senior quarterback, Asa Robertson to receiver Cole Selvy, the hosts saw a big play called back. Robertson broke a big run that was flagged for an illegal formation.
But the never-say-die Wildcats quickly struck back as Robertson completed a 30-yard pass to senior running back Mateo Fajardo to the Lone Grove 43.
This play was nearly called back as well as a referee initially signaled a penalty against Madill for an illegal man downfield. The officials then gathered for a lengthy discussion but ultimately decided to wave off the flag.
With 1:56 left, Fajardo gains eight yards to the Lone Grove 35. Then, senior Ryan Shahan gained 11 yards to the Lone Grove 24. Fajardo grabbed another 19 yards on a pitch to move Madill into the red zone. Senior fullback John Venable capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown. A successful Francisco Perez extra point tied the game at 14-14 with 35 seconds left.
In overtime, Lone Grove’s offense had the chance to strike first and strike they did.
Lone Grove’s Copper Robinson scored a seven-yard touchdown.
The visitors then converted a controversial two-point conversion when quarterback Colton Jones threw a pass toward wide receiver Gavin Peery. The pass which appeared to be short bounced into Peery’s arms. The score moved to Lone Grove 22, Madill 14.
After the game, Madill head football coach Todd Vargas did not blame the play for the loss.
“We can’t control that,” he said. “We can’t control calls.”
Madill started on the 10-yard line and Fajardo was able to score from the 2-yards on third down.
The teams traded timeouts before a two-point conversion attempt by Shahan was stuffed by a group of Longhorn defenders at the 2-yard line.
Madill head football coach Todd Vargas said although the team played hard, they couldn’t overcome their mistakes.
“We led this game in a lot of categories,” he said. “We led in penalties. It wasn’t even close. We also [had some] turnovers. Our kids were resilient, but they had a lot of hurdles tonight.”
How it began
Back in the first quarter, Lone Grove won the toss and elected to kick.
Madill started at their own 27-yard line. Venable gains 6 yards. An incidental facemask penalty against Lone Grove moved the ball to Madill
38. Robertson lost five yards on a fake jet sweep. A pitch to Fajardo lost Madill three yards. A pass intended for Fajardo on third and 18 was incomplete. Punt to Lone Grove Longhorn 39.
On first down, Jones’ pass was incomplete to Peery. A run up the middle by Robinson gained three yards. Then, the Wildcat defense was drawn offside making it third and two. Another incompletion to Peery after the pass was defended by Fajardo.
Lone Grove’s initial drive ended after Jones overthrew Peery, who was in double coverage, on fourth and four.
Madill began their second possession from their own 43. A loss of two on a pitch to Fajardo sent the Wildcats back to their 41. Left side of field. Shahan got three yards back on a run on the next play.
Then, Shahan got wide open on the left side of the field for a 27-yard reception to the Lone Grove 17. On a run, Venable gained 4.
Then, senior fullback Hunter Elkins gained one yard up the middle. Fajardo gained three yards on the next play to make it fourth and 3 from the Lone Grove 10. Venable ran four yards to get first down at the Lone Grove 6.
Venable carries ball for another two yards. Then, on second and goal, the Wildcats fumbled away the ball and the opportunity to score first.
No more goose eggs
In the second quarter, Lone Grove started a drive at Madill’s 48. The Longhorns rode Robinson’s legs throughout the drive and on a three-yard touchdown run. A successful extra point made it Lone Grove 7, Madill 0.
One could say that luck wasn’t on the hosts side when the ensuing kickoff bounced off a Madill player and was recovered by Lone Grove. This allowed the visitors to start a drive from the Madill 30.
After a short four-yard scamper by Robinson, the Longhorns nearly scored again as Jones found a Speery open near the end zone. At the lastsecond, the Wildcats’ Kendall Robertson swatted away the pass. His play prevented a sure touchdown.
More runs by Robinson wore the Wildcat defense down before Jones and Peery connected on short curl passing play in the front of the visitors’ side of the endzone. Along with another good extra point kick, Lone Grove moved their lead to 14-0.
Madill tried to push back ahead of halftime. The Wildcats’ Brayden Feuerborn corralled an onside kick at the Madill 49.
Robertson gained eight yards on left side of field. A pitch to Shahan netted a 14-yard pick up and moved the ball to the Lone Grove 29. Following a false start, Robertson got back lost yardage and then some on an 11-yard run.
The Wildcat ground attack continued with Shahan taking the ball 15 yards to the Lone Grove 2. Robertson gained 1 yard. Robertson is stopped for no gain. Now 3rd and 1 from 1-yard line with 16 seconds left in quarter. Crowd turns up volume. A pitch to Venable who muscles in for a one-yard touchdown run.
However, the touchdown run was called back due to a holding flag. The score remained Lone Grove 14, Madill 0 at halftime.
Early in the fourth quarter, Madill go the ball back on their own seven-yard line. The Wildcats then pounded the turf with their running game and got to the Lone Grove seven-yard line.
Robertson was on the edge of scoring a touchdown run when he fumbled near the goal line.
The Longhorns recovered the ball and took over at their own one-yard line.
However, Lone Grove’s offense sputtered and was forced to punt.
Asa Robertson was responsible for the punt return and took it back to the house for a 40-yard touchdown.
Francisco Perez’s extra point was good and Madill cut Lone Grove’s lead in half to 14-7.