Mount Pleasant holds back Jacksonville in closing seconds to win 33-27

Steven Gallegos (4) of Jacksonville tackles Mount Pleasant's Jalen Williams on Friday night at the Historic Tomato Bowl. The Tigers claimed a 33-27 triumph over the Tribe. Gallegos also intercepted a pass in the game.

In a back-and-forth game between two evenly matched teams, it seemed like for most of the evening that the club that had the ball last would walk off the Historic Tomato Bowl field with a win Friday.

That wasn't the case as Mount Pleasant mounted a valiant goal line stand in the closing :30, holding the Tribe out of the end zone on four-straight plays from scrimmage to hold on to a 33-27 victory.

Jacksonville, who will host Lindale next Friday (Senior Night), dips to 2-7, 1-5 in District 9-5A-II.

MP moved to 4-5, 2-4 as a result of the victory.

Trailing by six points, Jacksonville began its final march on its own 36-yard line with 2:40 left to play in the contest.

The Indians were able to move inside the Tiger 10-yard line in six plays, giving themselves about :30 to either tie the game or win it in regulation.

Junior quarterback Patrick Clater attempted to advance the ball into the end zone by running on three of the plays in the progression — he tossed an incomplete pass on the other — as the Tiger defense rose to the challenge.

The Indians' final play from scrimmage came with 12 ticks showing on the clock. Facing a 4th-and goal from the 2-yard line Clater tried to bulldoze his way in and was stopped for no gain.

Clater's body of work was somewhat of a mixed bag. He threw two first half touchdown strikes, both to Jalen Freeney (48, 18 yards), and ran for two touchdowns, but also was picked off three times.

For the night he went 15-26-3 for 320 yards, with Colorado commit Chris Carpenter being the game's top pass catcher with five grabs for 131 yards.

MP owned a 27-20 lead to start the final period of play after the game was tied 14-14 at halftime.

Johnny Smith caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Kaleb Thompson with 2:43 to go in the third stanza.

With 8:24 to go in the game the Indians were able to tie the game up after Clater scored on a 3-yard run, his second rushing touchdown of the final half.

After the two teams traded interceptions on back-to-back possessions, MP was able to march 85 yards in 2:14 to score what turned out to be the winning touchdown.

Jalen Williams plunged in from 2-yards out to give the Tigers the lead at that juncture. The point after touchdown try was no good.

Williams was a busy guy as he also scored a 5-yard touchdown in the first half and had 23 carries for 150 yards for MP.

Caleb Jones of MP led all players in the rushing department, carrying 23 times for 150 yards.

Key defensive plays were made by Jacksonville's Freeney (interception), Stephen Gallegos (interception) and Isiah Mallard (fumble recovery).



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