The Chickasha High School freshman football team came up inches short Thursday night against Elgin at Memorial Stadium.
The Fightin' Chicks dropped to 1-3 with a painful 16-14 loss, which ended with an impressive rally falling just short.
Elgin scored the first 16 points of the game, and seemed to be in complete control throughout.
Chickasha's first spark of life came in the third quarter, when Kyle McNatt had a big kickoff return all the way to Elgin's three-yard line. Running back Taray Thomas ran in for the touchdown and the two-point conversion.
Late in the third quarter, the Owls seemed to be about to put the game away, and drove all the way to the Chickasha 12-yard line on a drive that went into the fourth quarter.
Jose Solano intercepted an Elgin pass with 4:20 left in the game, giving the Fightin' Chicks one more chance to drive down the field and tie the game.
Chickasha had committed to the run the entire game. Due to being shorthanded at skill positions and in light of recent troubles snapping the ball in the shotgun formation, the Chicks lined up in the double-tight I-formation and ran the ball all game, but with little success until the fourth quarter.
It was an offensive gameplan that the coaches said Chickasha had only been working on for three days.
The final drive started on the Chickasha nine-yard line. Thomas ran the ball on almost every play mostly on outside tosses, and eventually scored the touchdown with 12.2 seconds remaining after quarterback Cory Evans ran the ball to the two-yard line.
All that was left was the two-point conversion to tie the game. Chickasha went to the pass for the first time on the drive.
Evans dropped back, but was faced with pressure from the Elgin front line. The defender got a hand on Evans, who was forced to make a desperation throw that fell harmlessly to the ground.
Chickasha attempted an onside kick, but Elgin recovered and took a knee to end the game.
After the game, head coach Allen Coley stressed to his team how please he was with the effort, despite the result.
"We've had issues all year long with being positive," Coley said. "I think some of the kids look at the success the team had last year, but this is a different year. It was good to see them come together. These guys fought hard and played hard."
The Chickasha freshmen have another significant break in their schedule, with their next game scheduled for Oct. 1 at Shawnee