The Abilene 7th grade football team stunned Salina South, Thursday night, with an improbable 24-20 last second victory in Salina. The Longhorns improved to 3-1 with the victory over the Cougars. The two teams did not play last season because of Covid.
Thursday night, Abilene turned over the football on downs after failing to covert on a 4th and 5 play at the Salina South 20 yard line with a little over a minute to go in the game. The Cougars took possession at their own 17 yard line. Salina South elected not to take a knee and ran the ball on the first 2 downs. The Longhorns had 2 timeouts and were able to stop the clock on the first 2 plays of the series. The Cougars then fumbled the snap on 3rd down, the quarterback was hit by Ethan Evans and Cooper Holloway was able to scoop up the ball and score from around 20 yards out with 43 seconds left in the game. Evans added the 2-point conversion for the final points of the game. Abilene’s ensuing kickoff came to a rest in the field of play by the sideline and the Longhorns were able to recover the ball and run out the clock.
Abilene got on the board first in the game with a Dayven Cuba 50 yard touchdown run with 2 seconds left in the opening quarter. Evans would add the 2-point conversion to give the Longhorns an 8-0 lead. Salina South responded with a Ja’ Brien Curtis 50 yard touchdown pass to Caden Stauffer with 6:30 left in the half to make the score 8-6. Curtis would then connect with Kobie Henley on a 60 yard touchdown pass to give the Cougars their first lead at 12-8 with just 44 seconds left in the half.
Salina South scored on the opening possession of the second half on a 45 yard run by Armane Redmond. Curtis ran in the 2-point conversion to extend the Cougar lead to 20-8 with a little over 4 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter. Abilene answered with a Cuba 47 yard touchdown run. The Longhorns used a trick play on the 2-point conversion. Evans the tailback took the handoff and passed it to quarterback, Bryan Peterson to pull Abilene to within 20-14 with 3:41 to play in the 3rd quarter.
Coach Corey Casteel said, “I was so proud of the fight we had in us. It would have been easy to give up late in the game, but we didn’t. We probably didn’t deserve to get the win, but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. These guys will be ready to get back to work and get ready for Chapman next week.”
Abilene will return home Thursday to host the Chapman Irish at 4:30 p.m.