CLINTON – Trey Miller scored four touchdowns to save Clinton’s Homecoming, as the Cardinals had to go down to the final play to defeat Smith-Cotton, 43-36, Friday night.
Clinton went ahead 36-29 on Miller’s third TD, an eight-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Goucher with 8:43 to play in the game. Smith-Cotton began a steady march down the field and progressed to the Cardinals’ 21 yard line when a Tigers running back was tackled and appeared to be down but the officials called a fumble, giving the ball to Clinton with 3:55 to play.
S-C Head Coach Ryan Boyer was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for protesting the call, then Goucher ripped off a 47-yard up-the-gut run. Miller scored his final TD on a two-yard run and kicked the PAT for a 43-29 Cardinals lead with 1:26 left in the game.
The Tigers would not quit, however, moving upfield on pass plays from quarterback Jaden Kendrick to tight end Korbin Scott and running back Gauge Young. With 7 seconds on the game clock, Young scored on an eight-yard shovel pass and Blake Grupe added the PAT to cut Clinton’s lead to 43-36. S-C’s onside kick was successful, with senior Daniel Winfield recovering near midfield. Kendrick’s pass into the end zone, intended for receiver A.J. Wilkinson, was knocked down to preserve the Cardinals’ win.
Clinton had the first two scores of the game, on a two-yard run by Goucher and a 77-yard Goucher-to-Miller pass.
“When you spot them 15, you put yourself in a tough spot,” Boyer said. “A lot of credit to Clinton, they came in with a good game plan. … We told our kids, there are good things that happened tonight. But the big plays and the little things just kind of snowballed.”
S-C also got scores from Scott on a 37-yard pass from Kendrick, a 42-yard pass to Brice Pannier, a 15-yard run by Brandon Neale and a 90-yard kickoff return by Zach Powell.
S-C (4-3, 3-1 in the West Central Conference) travels to St. Pius X next week.