BELL BUCKLE — In their first Region 5-AA matchup of the season, the Cascade Champions shutout the Mt. Pleasant Tigers heading into halftime, but failed to carry that momentum into the second …
BELL BUCKLE — In their first Region 5-AA matchup of the season, the Cascade Champions shutout the Mt. Pleasant Tigers heading into halftime, but failed to carry that momentum into the second half as the Tigers snuck away with a 20-13 victory.
“We were able to limit their big plays in the first half,” Champions head coach Jake Tyre said.
“They came out in the second half with a couple big plays and it sort of spiraled from there. We just have to figure out how to finish games. If you’re up 13-0 at halftime, you gotta find a way to make something happen.”
Restricting the Tigers’ (3-0, 1-0) chunk plays played a large role in the Champions’ (1-2, 0-1) success in the first half.
A couple forced punts and an interception from senior safety Taylor Dowell kept Mt. Pleasant’s attack at bay and allowed the Champions’ offense to score points.
With three just over three minutes left in the first half, Xamarion Dixon connected with Chance Brown from 14 yards away for their first touchdown pairing of the night and a 7-0 lead after the extra point.
The Champions’ defense stepped up again on the ensuing Tigers’ drive to hand the ball back to their offense one more time before the half.
After a 47-yard pass down the sideline from Dixon to Hayden Dowell, Cascade was in striking distance again, and Brown grabbed his second touchdown of the game on a 13-yard pass from Dixon with 33 seconds remaining on the clock.
But a missed extra point made it a 13-0 ballgame heading to the locker room.
Brown totaled 27 yards on his two touchdown receptions and added 22 yards on the ground for the Champions.
Mt. Pleasant flipped the script in the second half and kept the Champions out of scoring position and off the scoreboard.
With 5:28 seconds left in the third quarter, Tiger quarterback Nick Brown rushed into the end zone from six yards away to cut Cascade’s lead to 13-7 after the made extra point.
Less than two minutes later, Mt. Pleasant found the end zone again on a 64-yard bomb down the field from Brown to wide receiver Darien Meza, and the Tigers tied the game at 13-13 after a missed extra point.
Brown and Meza connected again on a 57-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter to take a 20-13 lead.
Neither team threatened to score in the fourth quarter, and Mt. Pleasant finished in victory formation.
“We held them on defense in the second half other than those few big plays,” Tyre said.
“Our offense just couldn’t move the ball. We gotta figure out a way to put good drives together moving forward.”
Despite the loss, Tyre was proud of his team for battling against one of the better teams in their region.
“We battled for 48 minutes against a great football team.”
“I can take a bunch of fighters that play hard for 48 minutes rather than a team that gives up. We didn’t give up tonight.”
The Champions’ offense totaled 172 yards on the night with 104 of those coming on the ground.
Cascade will head to Huntland Friday night for a non-region matchup at 7 p.m.
Cascade 0 13 0 0 — 13
Mt. Pleasant 0 0 20 0 — 20
C — Chance Brown 14 pass from Dixon, (Isaac Chapa kick), 3:05.
C — Brown 13 pass rom Dixon, (Chapa kick failed), :33.
MP — Nick Brown 6 rush, (Jackson Collier kick), 5:28.
MP — Darien Meza 64 pass from Brown, (Collier kick failed), 3:43.
MP — Meza 57 pass from Brown, (Collier kick), :59.
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