Arabia Mountain outmatched Miller Grove in mettle, resiliency and ultimately points in overcoming a 28-8 fourth-quarter deficit to secure a 36-28 win at Hallford Stadium.
The Rams posted 28 points in the last stanza and officially erased what appeared to be an insurmountable lead when Bryson Williams dashed across the goal line on a 2-yard quarterback keeper with 3:43 on the clock.
Arabia Mountain added insurance points when Williams found Silas Butler near the pylon on fourth-and-three on its next series.
“We fought as a team. We said to ourselves we’re not going to give up. We’re going to fight through this adversity. We said weren't going to lose the game and we didn’t,” said Williams.
Although the defense was suspect at times, the unit ignited the rally when Amir Graham recovered a loose ball at the Miller Grove 21-yard line. This fortuitous play came on the heels of Tyler Suber’s touchdown reception which shrunk the score to 28-16.
It didn’t take long before the Rams were back on the scoreboard. Butler was the recipient of a pass from Williams, cutting Miller Grove’s lead to 28-24.
Lost during this rally or collapse was the Wolverines inability to run out the clock. Miller Grove failed to convert on every third-down attempt in the fourth quarter. Arabia Mountain capitalized on these quick possessions with one big play after another to clinch the win.
“That’s key in trying to control the clock when you have the lead. If you have the lead and can’t move the ball and establish first downs, you can’t win. They got all over us and we couldn’t move the ball like we needed to,” said Miller Grove head coach Justin Larmond.
After going down 8-0 in the first quarter, Miller Grove responded with a 70-yard kickoff return for a score by Geon Floyd. The extra point failed, keeping the game at 8-6.
In the second quarter, quarterback Jamaal Roach showed off his accuracy, connecting on a 31-yard touch pass to Kameron Williams in the corner of the end zone. Miller Grove’s two-point conversation unsuccessful leaving the score at 12-8.
Three plays later, Keshawn Varner raised eyebrows on both sidelines when he snatched an interception over his head. Miller Grove capped off the ensuing drive with a short-yardage touchdown run by Roach. This time around, the team completed the 2-point conversation for a 20-8 advantage. This score held at halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Roach hit Jalen Stuckey for a 22-yard touchdown. The conversation extended the lead to 28-8 and proved to be the last celebratory moment for Miller Grove.
This was a signature victory for Arabia Mountain and could serve as a springboard for a return trip to the playoffs. The Rams snapped a two-game losing streak and avoided a lopsided defeat against a region opponent. Arabia Mountain improves to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in region action.
“It didn’t look good coming out in the second half, but my guys fought hard. They hung together and made plays. They could’ve easily mailed it in, but we stayed together and they persevered. They showed me they’re fighters. Our quarterback was banged up, but they all kept playing,” said Arabia Mountain head coach Stanley Pritchard.
Miller Grove falls to 3-4 on the season.