The Wildcats football team did everything they could to claim victory versus a talented Kaufman Lions team, but ultimately fell just short of a victory in a 34-32 defeat in Kaufman.
Both sides of the ball looked hungry for their first win of the fall 2021 season, and it showed throughout the entirety of the game.
Coach Kurt McCain’s defense were able to hold the Lions offense to just 54 total yards in the first quarter.
The second was when the scoring began, starting with the first play of the quarter as Lions QB Derek Clamon connected on a 47-yard pass to WR Julian Prox.
QB Matthew Mitchell and the Wildcats offense went on a drive of their own, stretching 13 plays long and resulting with a touchdown pass to Weston Fields.
After Kaufman failed to convert on a 4th & 7 in Wildcats territory, Sulphur Springs ran all the way to the house to take the lead 14-7 over the Lions just over halfway through the second.
It was the first time the Wildcats had taken the lead all season long.
Both teams traded turnovers, with senior Riley Hammons snagging an interception, but QB Matt Mitchell fumbled on a blind side hit on the ensuing drive.
Kaufman seized the opportunity, cashing in on a two-yard rush from RB Braxton Garmon for his first touchdown on the night to tie the game up at 14-14.
He would wind up with over 200 yards on the ground, while also racking up two more TD’s in the second half.
The Wildcats came out of the locker room at the half with their eyes set on the end zone, doing everything to put their best foot forward coming out of halftime.
Sulphur Springs went on a 17-play, seven minute drive that made it all the way to the Lions 15 yard line before an incomplete pass on third and long forced the Wildcats to settle for a field goal while still retaking the lead at 17-14.
Kaufman retook the lead on the second rushing TD on the night for Garmon, and after a Wildcats punt, the Lions scored 14 in the third quarter to lead Sulphur Springs 28-17.
Another Kaufman TD with just under five minutes left in the game would prove to be the nail in the coffin as even though Matthew Mitchell connected with Weston Fields for a 60-yard bomb to pull the Wildcats within three, Sulphur Springs would still have to go on a game-winning drive and kick a field goal if they wished to get their first victory on the fall 2021 season.
The game would end on a tough note, as even though the Wildcats would convert on a fourth down to move the chains, it would be a fourth down that would be their undoing; Carson Fenton caught the ball and made an athletic move attempting to get the yardage-to-gain, but the line judge ruled him short once the play was blown dead, and with that Sulphur Springs turned the ball over and Kaufman ran out the clock in another nail-biting, 34-32 Lion victory.
Both sides of the ball hung in there, with the offense continuing to develop into a formidable unit.
Matthew Mitchell finished with two touchdowns and over 200 yards combined through the ground and air. The Wildcats combined for over 200 yards in the defeat.
The defense was able to force a number of timely stops to keep the Wildcats in striking distance of Kaufman, but ultimately it was the Lions defense getting the pivotal fourth down stop that sealed the victory on Homecoming for Kaufman.
The loss drops Wildcats football’s season record to 0-3.
Next up, Coach Owens and his program will be back at home when they host the Crandall Pirates next Friday on Homecoming.
That game is set to kick off at 7:30 P.M.