Late Touchdown Pass Lifts New Boston to Thrilling 14-7 Win Over Whitesboro
[By Johnny Green, Special to ETSN.fm]
MOUNT PLEASANT — In weather suited for two teams that prefer to run the football, Friday's Class 2A Division I area playoff game between New Boston and Whitesboro was decided by a pass.
Junior Jeff Gladney took a pass in the left flat from quarterback Aaron Conkleton and weaved his way through three defenders en route to a 44-yard touchdown with 13.6 seconds left in the game, leading New Boston to a 14-7 victory.
New Boston (11-1) takes on Malakoff in the regional semifinals, tentatively set for Longview's Lobo Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29.
It was the second touchdown inside the final minute of play in the defensive battle that saw the teams combine to lose seven of 13 fumbles and two interceptions in the driving game-long rain.
Earlier, a 28-yard gain on a screen pass from Whitesboro quarterback Kyle Lynn to running back Collin Kilcrease led to Lynn's game-tying 2-yard sneak with 58 seconds remaining in the game.
But the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds giving the ball to New Boston at the Lions' 30. Two strong runs by Keith Badwin moved the ball to the Bearcat 39, but Conkleton was sacked for a 5-yard loss before connecting with Gladney on the next play.
The Lions led 7-0 at halftime on an 18-yard Conkleton pass to Juwaun Johnson, but had another scoring toss to Dylan Martin negated by a penalty.
New Boston had a chance to build a two-touchdown lead midway through the fourth quarter but Quinn Dedmon had the ball knocked out of his hands at the lip of the goal after a 37-yard run. It resulted in a touchback, giving Whitesboro the ball.
The Bearcats wasted a gold opportunity in the third quarter after gaining possession at the Lions' 4-yard line on a bad punt snap. But they lost 14 yards on a bad snap on first down and eventually had to try a field goal, which was also botched, resulting in an interception by Martin.
Whitesboro (10-2) fumbled eight times, losing five with Johnson recovering two, his first setting up the Lions' first-half touchdown, coming with only 27.2 seconds remaining before intermission.
Dedmon ran for 151 yards on 23 carries to lead New Boston's offense. Kilcrease gained 78 on 19 trips for Whitesboro.