The Abilene 7th grade football team suffered its first loss of the season Thursday night at home to the Clay Center Bengals 20-18 in overtime. Abilene fell to 4-1 with the loss while Clay Center remains undefeated.
Abilene got off to a quick start courtesy of their special teams. Longhorn kicker Tyler Green’s opening kickoff bounced off of a Clay Center player and Abilene’s Zane Macourbrie recovered the loose ball to give the Longhorns possession. Abilene scored on its first series, on a 4th down and 4 play from the Bengal 32-yard line. An Aaron Hartman to Cole Veal pass play with 4:54 to play in the first quarter gave the Longhorns a 6-0 lead.
Abilene got the ball right back as Clay Center turned it over on its first possession and Abilene’s Thomas Keener recovered. The Longhorns gave it back immediately as they fumbled on their first play of their second series and the ball was recovered by Owen Craig of Clay Center.
The Bengals capitalized with 24-yard touchdown run by Jonah Ferguson to tie the game at 6 with: 29 seconds left in the opening quarter and the score would remain the same at halftime.
Abilene scored on its second series of the second half on a 40-yard pass play from Hartman to Weston Rock to give the Longhorns back the lead at 12-6 with 5:10 to play in the 4th quarter.
The Bengals the game was tied with just 38 seconds left on a halfback pass to Ferguson.
In overtime each team gets the ball at their opponents 10-yard line and has four plays to score. Clay Center scored on itsr fourth play on a 1-yard run from Weston Hammond. Owen Craig added the two-point conversion to give the Bengals a 20-12 advantage.
Abilene scored on its fourth play on a Hartman to Rock six-yard pass play. The Longhorns were unable to convert on the conversion.
“I was really proud of how we competed tonight,” Abilene head coach Corey Casteel said. “I know we were disappointed about the outcome, but I was not disappointed with our effort. Our kids knew it was going to be tough and responded to everything that was thrown at them.
“Clay Center is a good team and they got us this time. We just need to move forward and get ready for Concordia.”
Abilene will travel to Concordia Thursday for a 3 p.m. game with the Panthers. Abilene defeated Concordia 24-16 last year.