Oh so close: CCHS flirts with upset of No. 3 team

Published 12:19 am Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chilton County on Friday had the No. 3 Class 5A football team in the state beat for 46 minutes.

But CCHS made mistakes and Greenville made plays in the final two minutes of a 28-21 game at Tiger Stadium, demonstrating the difference between an elite program and one that is fighting to attain that status.

“We played a great game on both sides of the ball,” CCHS coach Brian Carter said. “They made the play at the end, and that’s what great teams do.”

The homestanding Tigers (5-4, 3-3 Region 3) had a chance to ice the game, leading 21-20 beginning a possession on their own 19-yard line with 4:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. But the shotgun snap on the first play bounced on the ground. Senior quarterback Taylor Hughes fell on the ball, but it was a 14-yard loss that prevented the Tigers from picking up a first down on the drive.

Greenville took over on the CCHS 32-yard line after a punt, and quarterback Ryan Smith found Mikwese Claybourne for a 17-yard, game-winning touchdown with less than two minutes left to play.

The successful 2-point conversion produced the final score.

The visiting Tigers (9-0, 6-0) took a 14-0 lead before CCHS even recorded a first down. Greenville scored on two passes from Smith to Derius Watson in the first quarter.

But Chilton on its next possession was given three first downs on Greenville penalties and eventually scored on a Hughes keeper from 1 yard out on fourth-and-goal.

The snap on the point-after try couldn’t be handled, and CCHS trailed 14-6.

CCHS tied it with 24 seconds to go in the first half by following up a 2-yard Hughes touchdown run with a Hughes pass to Chris Felder.

CCHS took its lead on a 17-yard pass from Hughes to Cameron Cummings and a Noe Chavez extra point.