TCT loses on field goal

Argenta-Oreana kicks 33-yard field goal with no time left to defeat the Titans 31-24

By Tim Hendershot
Posted 4/5/21

ARGENTA — The Tri-County Titans experienced heartbreaking loss Friday, falling to Argenta-Oreana Bombers 31-28 — on the Last play of the game.

In the 2019  football season, the …

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TCT loses on field goal

Argenta-Oreana kicks 33-yard field goal with no time left to defeat the Titans 31-24


ARGENTA — The Tri-County Titans experienced heartbreaking loss Friday, falling to Argenta-Oreana Bombers 31-28 — on the Last play of the game.

In the 2019  football season, the Tri-County Titans went to Argenta to face off against a Bombers team that had just reached the semifinals of the IHSA Class 1A playoffs in 2018.

The Titans showed they were not afraid getting five opportunities from inside the one yard line of pulling off one of the biggest upsets in program history before the Bombers stood firm for a 33-29 win. 

Fast forward to this shortened 2021 spring season, the Titans once again made the trek to Argenta for a rematch of that instant classic looking to exact a little revenge and finished what they started from that fateful night.

Once again, it came down to the final play to decide the contest.

Both teams showed a never say die attitude throughout the clear and chilly April evening, but unlike last season, it was the Bombers that had the final say winning the contest on the final play for a 31-28 win.

Argenta-Oreana got the scoring going early on the opening possession with a long 6:13 drive capped off by a one yard touchdown run by Connor Durham at the 5:47 mark.  Landon Lawson made the extra point to give the Bombers a 7-0 lead. 

The Titans responded quickly, utilizing the return of senior running back Daniel Drake back after being out due to COVID-19 quarantine protocol. Starting from their own 35, TCT got down to the Bombers five yard line after a 55 yard run on the second play of the drive by Drake.  Two plays later, freshman fullback John Kibler punched the ball in from one yard out at the 4:17 mark.  Alex Acerra missed the extra point making the score 7-6 in favor of the Bombers. 

On the ensuing kickoff, the Bombers struck again as Carson Barton took the short kick from the A-O 32 yard line and found a hole and was off to the races for a 68-yard kick return for a touchdown with 4:02 left in the quarter.  Lawson’s extra point made the score 14-6 at that point.

On their next possession, the Titans used up the final 4:02 of the first quarter and another 5:22 seconds of the second quarter before hitting pay dirt again.

Jack Armstrong rolled out a found Payton Bell for a three-yard touchdown pass with 6:38 left in the half.  The Titans then got a little bit of luck on the two point conversion attempt as Armstrong’s pass bounced off intended target Greg Reese, but Bell made a spectacular diving catch off the bounce to convert tying the score at 14-14. 

The Titans defense then stepped up as the Bombers drove 4:51 seconds down to the Tri-County 37. Tri-County stood firm forcing Argenta to turn the ball over on downs.  The teams went into the locker room tied at 14-14.

In the third quarter, the Bombers used another time consuming drive to find the end zone once again with the big play being a 30-yard pass to Durham from Brylan McHood to get down to the TCT one yard line. 

On the next play, McHood found Durham on a short pass from one yard out at the 3:27 mark and Lawson connected on the extra point to give the Bombers a 21-14 lead. 

The Titans then on the next series drove down from their own 35 after another kick out of bounds by the Bombers using the running of Kibler to get down to the Bombers six yard line.  However, the Titans had bad luck come a knocking as Armstrong fumbled the ensuing snap and A-O recovered stopping the drive.  The scored remained at 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Titans defense stepped up starting the fourth quarter forcing a Bombers punt - the one and only punt of the contest for both teams - getting great field position at the A-O 32 yard line.  Tri-County then stayed on the ground using Kibler the entire way paying off with a six yard touchdown one with 8:46 left.  The two point run by Kibler was stopped just short still giving the Bombers a 21-20 lead.  A-O then struck quickly on the ensuing possession using Durham to the max with Durham finding a seem and scampering 23 yard for his third touchdown of the game at the 7:05 mark.  Lawson nailed the extra point to give the Bombers an eight point lead at 28-20.

After a third Bombers kick went out of bounds, the Titans continued their methodical game plan and got a huge boost as Tri-County converted on a fourth down and eleven play as Armstrong found Reese for a 15 yard gain to get into Bomber territory to keep the drive alive.  The Titans then melted the clock down having no time outs left using the legs of Kibler the rest of the way to find the endzone as Kibler pounded the ball in from 15 yards out to pull within two at 28-26.  After an Argenta-Oreana penalty gave the Titans a second chance at the two point conversion, Tri-County responded as Armstrong found Reese to convert and the game was tied at 28-28 with 2:38 left in regulation.

The Bombers took the kickoff and were at their own seven yard line with no timeouts left, but found a spark as McHood had two big runs of 21 and 23 yards and A-O got it down all the way to the TCT six yard line with a little over eight seconds left.  An illegal block in the back penalty pushed the ball back to the 16 and McHood spiked the ball with 5.6 seconds left and the Bombers sent in the field goal team to try and win the game in regulation with a 33-yard field goal attempt by Lawson.  The ball was snapped and Lawson put the foot to the ball and it just sailed over the post to convert the field goal try as time expired lifting the Bombers to the 31-28 win.

The Titans had 387 yards of total offense with 369 of those yards on the ground controlling the time of possession game having the ball for over 26 minutes.  John Kibler had 23 carries for 178 yards and three scores while Daniel Drake had 17 carries for 112 yards before not being able to play for most of the second half due to an undisclosed injury.  Jack Armstong was 2 of 5 passing for 18 yards and a score and had five carries for 79 yards.