Marengo Academy wins AISA Class A titleBy Matt Cole Published 3:41pm Friday, November 22, 2013
The Marengo Academy Longhorns claimed the 2013 AISA Class A Championship on Friday by defeating Restoration Academy 31-28.
The game came down to the wire, but the Longhorns pulled it out after Brant Lewis hit a 31-yard field goal with three seconds to play in the game.
“Brant did a great job,” Marengo Academy head coach Robby James said. “Restoration is a good team and we knew they could score, but our guys played with a lot of heart today.”
Restoration tied the game at 28 with 2:49 to play in the game on an 18-yard run by Cortney Willbanks and a two-point conversion run by Rasheed Turner.
Marengo Academy started their final drive on their own 22 yard line. Hayden Huckabee, who led the Longhorns offensively most of the game, made a huge 28-yard run to get the Longhorns down to the Bulldogs 32. Another big play from Huckabee, this time with a pass to Cason Cook, put the Longhorns on the Bulldogs 14 yard line with 11 seconds to play, setting Lewis up for the 31-yard go-ahead field goal.
“I was nervous, but I knew I could hit it,” Lewis said. “It was really a routine kick for me.”
Marengo Academy finished the game with 365 yards, and Huckabee finished with 148 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns.
“We had great blocking up front all day,” James said. “Their line probably outweighed us by 100 pounds, and not many people thought we could block them, but I thought our guys did a great job. We were able to punch it through enough to get the win. I just love it for these kids.”
Restoration opened the game with the ball, but on their second play from scrimmage, Willbanks fumbled, giving the Longhorns good field position on the Bulldogs 40.
Marengo capitalized with a touchdown on a two-yard Huckabee run to take a 7-0 lead.
The Longhorns forced a three-and-out on their next drive, and were once again able to drive down the field for a score. Huckabee added his second touchdown of the game on a six-yard carry to put his team on top 14-0.
On Restoration’s next drive, Willbanks fumbled inside the Longhorns five yard line. Hayden Hall recovered the fumble giving Marengo the ball on the five.
The second quarter was scoreless until Restoration’s Kha’Darrius Davis ran in an eight-yard score. The Bulldogs failed the two-point conversion and trailed 14-6.
Shade Pritchett fumbled on the next Marengo drive, giving the Bulldogs the ball on the MA 42. After a three-yard loss on first down, Davis connected with Turner on a 45-yard pass for a touchdown. Davis ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14. This score held until halftime.
Marengo Academy scored first in the second half on a one-yard Josh Holifield run to put the Longhorns on top 21-14. Restoration drove down the field on their next drive, but Alston Dinning intercepted a Davis pass in the endzone for a touchback.
Tyler Barkley was intercepted by Matt Johnson on Marengo’s next drive, which set up Restoration’s next score. With 11:25 to play in the game, Davis connected with Turner on an 18-yard pass. The Bulldogs failed to convert the two-point conversion again and trailed 21-20.
Huckabee scored his third touchdown of the game on a three-yard run with 5:50 to play to put Marengo on top 28-20.
Restoration drove to tie, then Marengo drove for the game-winning field goal.
“Our guys played their hearts out,” Restoration head coach Dewayne Coker said. “This is a tough loss. Marengo has a great team.”
The win for the Longhorns completes their undefeated campaign at 13-0.