Nacogdoches Wins Second Consecutive Game on Last-Second Field Goal
HALLSVILLE —With 5 seconds left in the game, Nacogdoches senior kicker Rudy Fuentes stepped up and delivered a 19-yard field goal to secure a last-minute 37-36 win against Hallsville.
It was the Dragons’ second heart-stopping win in as many games.
As Hallsville (1-1) had the ball with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats elected to try their chances on fourth down at their own 48. But the Dragons defense held strong and Bobcats quarterback Wyatt Wolverton threw an incomplete pass to give the Dragons good field position.
The combination of Coronado Tolbert’s running and Hunter McClellan’s engineering of the passing game carried the Dragons down to the 4-yard line, where Fuentes was presented with the chip shot for the win.
Tolbert finished the game with 33 carries for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
McClellan went the second game in a row without an interception, completing 23 of 40 attempts for 363 yards and threw touchdowns of 48, 76 and 43 yards. He also pitched in another 42 yards on the ground.
The Dragons (2-0) were also helped out massively by two missed extra points early in the game for Hallsville.
Once again, costly penalties and two critical fumbles kept Hallsville in the game until the very end.
The Dragons committed 11 penalties for 87 yards and fumbled twice.
Meanwhile, the Bobcats finished with 193 yards on the ground, led by senior Khalil Sneed with 20 rushes for 118 yards.
Wyatt completed 8 of 12 pass attempts for 101 yards and two touchdowns — both to running back Jacob Taylor.
Taylor finished the game with two receptions for 31 yards, two rushes for four yards and three touchdowns.
Playing spot duty, junior quarterback Roger McCuller threw his first pass of the season, which went 64 yards for a touchdown to Andrew Southard. McCuller finished with two completions for 75 yards.
Hallsville got the game going quickly, scoring a 29-yard field goal with 9:13 left in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead.
Following the first of the Dragons’ fumbles, Hallsville scored again on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Wolverton to Taylor, but the following extra point was missed and the Bobcats took a 9-0 lead with 2:24 left in the first quarter.
Nacogdoches responded quickly. McClellan threw a 48-yard touchdown to Ken Rogers with 1:31 left in the first quarter. Fuentes converted the Dragons extra point and the Dragons trailed 7-9.
Hallsville scored again to open the second quarter, but missed the extra point to increase their lead to 15-7.
Nacogdoches responded with a 76-yard touchdown pass from McClellan to Alex Gregory.
Following that, Tolbert scored on an eight-yard rush to give the Dragons their first lead of the game — 21-15 with 4:11 left before halftime.
It didn’t last long. Hallsville scored on a 13-yard rush from Dionte Johnson to take the lead 22-21.
McClellan was then sacked as the Dragons drove into the red zone on the next possession to close out the half with Hallsville in the lead.
The Dragons opened the second half with a quick score on a 43-yard hookup from McClellan to Rogers to take a 28-22 lead with 10:46 left in the third.
The Bobcats scored the next two touchdowns to take a 36-28 lead with 7:53 left in the game.
On the Dragons’ next possession, Tolbert scored from a yard out, but failed on the two-point conversion and Hallsville got the ball again with just 3:46 left in the game.
But the Dragon defense held the Bobcats on the next possession to set up the game-winning drive.