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Hartselle Enquirer

Austin magic falls just short

| Caleb Suggs
| Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

 

In what looked like a scene from “Friday Night Lights” it seemed that all of Decatur had stopped to come to Ogle Stadium to watch the Austin Black Bears compete in the semi finals for the first time in three decades. The only thing standing in their way was the top ranked Clay Chalkville Cougars who were riding in on a 28-game win steak and looking to go to state in back to back years. In one of the most intense high school football atmospheres of all time, these two titans lined up and went to war.

Clay Chalkville got the ball first and went to work quickly as they drove the ball all the way to the Austin 5-yard line. Austin would stop the Cougars on third down but pass interference would give the Cougars new life. Clay Chalkville would put it in a play later for the 7-0 lead. It wouldn’t take long for Austin to answer. Following a 17-yard run by TC Lowe, Victor Garth would bust a 43-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7. Clay Chalkville would immediately answer with a long pass and another quarterback touchdown run to take the 14-7 lead.

The back and forth quarter would continue as Victor Garth would complete a huge touchdown pass to tie the game at 14-14. It looked like that would finish the first quarter but Clay Chalkville would manage to reel off a 29-yard touchdown run to take the 21-14 lead as the quarter ended.

Austin head coach Jeremy Perkins would take a huge gamble on the ensuing drive by attempting a fourth and six at the Chalkville 38, but it would be unsuccessful.  Clay Chalkville would make them pay with another huge touchdown pass to make the lead 28-14. Austin would not quit  and would drive the ball right back down behind the running of Victor Garth and Asa Martin.  Perkins would once again attempt a fourth and 6 in Chalkville territory and this time Garth would find  Jalik Jaggwe for a huge gain to the Cougar 8-yard line. Asa Martin would run it in a play later to cut the lead to 28-21 with 1:07 left in the first half. Austin would get one more opportunity after forcing Chalkville to punt but a costly interception would allow Clay Chalkville to score another touchdown just before halftime to make the game 35-21.

Austin would get the ball to start the second half and decide to slow things down. The Black Bears would chew 6 minutes off the clock and cap of the drive with a touchdown pass from Garth to Eric Washington to cut the lead to 35-28. Austin would get a stop on the next drive after what was an assumed touchdown was declared incomplete. One of the biggest blows to the Black Bears came on the next drive when an Austin receiver would drop a wide open pass over the middle that would’ve have been a touchdown and tied the game at 35. The Black Bears would be forced to punt and Clay Chalkville would immediately drive down inside the Austin 10-yard line. However, the Black Bears would come up with a huge goal-line stand to force Clay Chalkville to kick a field goal to make it 38-28.

Things then began to really get interesting. Austin would be forced to punt after another pass that would’ve been a 40 yard gain was dropped. Clay Chalkville would manage to get the ball down to the Austin 15 on a huge play but a holding penalty would bring it back and force the Cougars to punt. Austin would begin to drive the ball down the field converting two fourth downs along the way. It looked like the season would be over for Austin when Clay Chalkville came up with a pick six but pass interference would bring it back. Austin would pull to within 3 when Victor Garth would connect with TC Lowe to make the game 38-35. However, Austin just wouldn’t be able to stop Clay Chalkville one more time as the Cougars would score one more touchdown to ice the game and win it 45-35.

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