[By Jeff Henderson, Special to ETSN.fm]

HENDERSON -- Mother Nature intervened early on homecoming night between the Hallsville Bobcats and Henderson Lions on Friday, leaving a muddy field and a mistake-filled game full of fumbles and penalties.

Hallsville edged Henderson 21-20 with the game literally coming down to the last minute.

On fourth-and-long from the 15-yard line and 61 seconds left, Henderson set up to kick a game-winning field goal. As it had all night, the weather dealt one more blow. The snap was bobbled and Hallsville’s defense swarmed the holder. Hallsville (2-1) took over and ran the clock out for the one-point win.

Hallsville took the lead late in the game when Austin Toney found Jesse Navarro on a third-down pass-route up the middle of the field for a 14-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 4:12 left for a 21-20 Bobcat advantage.

The non-district matchup was briefly in doubt when play was suspended at 8:32 left in the second quarter as lightning and heavy rain sent officials, teams, and fans for cover with a 7-7 tie. Play resumed 40 minutes later, and it finished out uninterrupted, if not very soggy.

Hallsville struck first with :41 seconds left in the 1st quarter on an eight-yard run by dual-threat quarterback Macailyn Wilder after a Henderson fumble caused by Cayden Ferrill and recovered by Derek McCullar. Henderson struck back on the last play before the rain delay on a six-yard TD pass from Janson Moore to Travon Roquemore.

Thirty-five minutes later, the game resumed. The second quarter was consumed by an exchange of three-and-outs as neither Hallsville nor Henderson could advance into the red zone. However, on a well-executed play-action pass, Wilder lobbed a picture-perfect 46-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Coby Bradford down the middle of the field on a deep post route for a 14-7 Hallsville halftime advantage.

Henderson tied the game in the third quarter when Moore rolled out and found Mikel Lewis behind the Hallsville secondary on a fly route, completing a 55-yard touchdown pass to tie the game 14-14.

Hallsville could not capitalize on three Henderson turnovers during the third quarter: an interception by Dionte Johnson and a second forced fumble by Ferrill.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Lions staged a nine-play, 43-yard drive through the mud and rain to take a 20-14 lead on Jamaal Kind's one-yard touchdown run.  The same mud and rain hampered Henderson’s PAT when the holder mishandled the snap, and the Hallsville defense gang-tackled the ball carrier for a loss.

The subsequent Hallsville drive stalled, and given that Hallsville had all of the timeouts, they elected to punt, hopeful their defense would show up one more time.  Their hope was rewarded as on the ensuing possession, the soaked football found its way once more into Bobcat hands as Navarro forced a crucial fumble into the hands of Santos Estrada, giving Hallsville a short field inside the Lions’ red zone and 4:57 seconds left on the clock.

That led to Toney's 14-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Navarro.

Hallsville hosts Lindale on Friday. Henderson visits Jacksonville.

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