In the doghouse
Just another night at the stadium.
In a game that had more than 1,000 yards of offense and 223 yards in penalties, Millsap used a three touchdown in 2:49 spurt midway through the fourth quarter and held off a furious rally that ended with a touchback in the end zone in the final minute and change to post a 40-33 win over Jacksboro.
Jacksboro which could have had a district title with a win and an Eastland win, ends its regular season at 3-2 in District 5-3A Division II. The Tigers will face District 6-3A champ Holliday in the bi-district round of the playoffs. Millsap, which needed some help to even get into the playoffs, ends in second place at 5-5 and 3-2.
The fourth quarter had nearly half of the game’s scoring. Tied at 20, Tiger quarterback Lando Belcher broke the deadlock with a one-yard dive, capping a 10-play, 60-yard drive. The kick was missed.
As the teams had all night, Millsap came right back barely a minute later with a 46-yard run on third down from Waylan Dunn. Grant Camarillo’s kick was good with 8:31 to go to give the visitors a lead they would never relinquish.
Dunn was a thorn in Jacksboro’s side all night long rushing for 286 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns, his first score breaking a 13-all tie late in the first half.
Two plays after his second score, Millsap’s Cade Boyd picked off a Belcher pass with 7:43 left. Millsap marched 38 yards in four plays, the final nine coming on a Dawson Swindle reception of a Lawson Nairn pass to extended the lead to 34-26.
On the ensuing series, Belcher, on 3rd-and-10 and under a heavy rush, was hit by C.J. Navarro who caused a fumble which Kole Weaver picked up and motored 22 yards to the end zone. the conversion failed with Millsap leading 40-26 and 5:42 to go.
Unfazed, the Tigers kept on chugging. Passes to Kaleem Howard and Peyton Kinman, including a 15-yard TD toss to the latter would cut the lead to 40-33 with 4:02 remaining.
Belcher was 23-39 for 397 yards passing and three scores.
Just when it looked like the game was Millsap’s for the taking, the Tigers came through with a Jackson McComis interception with 2:25 to go. Deep in their own territory, Jacksboro began to make its move.
A nine-yard pass to Paul Shackelford got things rolling with a Belcher run getting a first down. Howard, who had nine catches for 119 yards, caught back-to-back strikes for another first down near midfield.
A pair of incompletions set up fourth and 7 at the Tiger 49. A pass to Kinman originally went to the 10 but a 15-yard penalty against the Tigers for their second sideline infraction of the game moved the ball back to the 25.
On first down, Belcher found Baylor Laake with a strike. Laake kept his legs moving and got inside the five. Stretching for the end zone, the ball came loose and was ruled a touchback with 53 seconds left. With Jacksboro out of timeouts, Millsap simply ran out the clock.
The Tigers drew first blood with Belcher and Kinman combining on a 20-yard scoring pass with 6:10 left in the first. Nairn tied the game at six with a one-yard scoring dive to cap a 92-yard, 12-play drive on the ensuing series.
A three-yard Domanik Hammond run gave the Tigers a 13-6 lead. Millsap came right back with another sustained drive, Nairn hooking up with Isaac Bourdelais with a 42-yard scoring reception.
After a Tiger punt, Millsap took advantage of a pass interference penalty and a 16-yard completion on fourth-and-long to find pay dirt on a six-yard jaunt by Dunn with 1:21 left in the half.
Undaunted, the Tigers needed just half of that to tie the game. First-down passes to Howard and Kinman set the table for Belcher and classmate Jett Davenport to combine on a nine-yard TD toss, knotting the game at 20.