Elmore City-Pernell welcomed the Community Christian Royals to Class A District 4 very rudely, scoring the game-winning touchdown with only six seconds left in the contest.
With only his second completion of the night, Elmore City quarterback Tyler Sharp scrambled to the right to avoid the Royals' pass rush and then let fly a pass up the middle to a wide open Jeremy Sawyer. That touchdown tied the game 13-13 and kicker Josh Hair booted the game-winning extra point.
"That one got away from us" CCS coach Paul Potter said after the tough loss. "We beat them at home last year and they paid us back this year at our home."
Potter said that the loss was a big one and that it will now be an uphill battle to be able to host a playoff game, which is a key goal for the Royals.
The game started out as a back-and-forth battle between two running teams. Elmore City was running the ball well with five different backs carrying the ball during the first quarter. The game remained scoreless until the second quarter when Elmore City's workhouse running back Cole Ratchford broke a 25-yard run up the middle for the first touchdown. He finished the night with 161 yards on the ground.
On the next series, the Royals (3-1) answered with a 58-yard slant pass from JJ Cortez to Harrison Williams for a touchdown. Harrison went five yards, cut to the middle, caught the ball in stride and with a burst of speed, ran by two defenders. The score was tied 7-7 at the half.
The second half started with three-and-out by the CCS offense. Elmore-City began the next possession at its own 10-yard line and moved the ball methodically on the ground the entire third quarter.
At the start of the fourth, and after 12 straight running plays, Elmore City was at the CCS 23-yard line. Three plays later, Elmore City found itself with a fourth-and-eight. This was the third fourth down in the series. The Royals finally made a stop and the ball was turned over.
The very next play, CCS running back Mikey McClung ran for a 51-yard gain. Two play after that, Cortez hooked up with Harrison again on a quick slant and he streaked to the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown. Elmore City blocked the ensuing PAT, and left CCS with a 13-7 lead with seven minutes to play in the game.
After trading punts, Elmore City found itself with the ball at midfield with 3:38 left in the game. After a few runs and incomplete passes, Elmore was again facing a fourth down, this time, four yards to go. Sharp found a hole on the left side and rambled to the 8-yard line for first down. After an incomplete pass, Elmore had 6 seconds left to score the game-winner. Sharp converted just his second pass of the night in six attempts for the win.