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Work of Artez: Cardinals edge Trojans in a instant classic

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Cardinal senior wide out Artez Harris pulls down one of his catches against Millington Friday night. Brighton will take on Munford this Friday on the road with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Antonio Dickerson ends the game for Brighton with an interception.

Wait a minute, it was a fumble and the Millington Trojans recovered and get a fresh set of downs. Now it appears the Trojans pull out a miralce to erase a 28-27 deficit in the final seconds with Myron Threlkeld scooping up a fumble and reaching the end zone.

Nope, the officials rule Trojan LaKeron Garcia down on the Millington Football Stadium turf ‘s 33-yard line.

Finally the Cardinals end the Friday night thriller with Dickerson picking off another Allen Moore pass attempt at the pylon. Huh, he was ruled out of bounds. The Trojans are still alive.

OK, Millington running back Antonio Webber makes a 15 yard run to the 18-yard line with 3.3 seconds remaining to set up a field goal try from 35 yards.

At least now everyone in the stadium knows once the kick goes off the foot of Brendan VanEmelen, the game will have a conclusion.

The ball had the distance but just missed wide right by a couple of feet giving the Cardinals a 28-27 win.

“I thought he made it,” Brighton Head Coach Will Wolfe said in his team’s locker room.

The veteran coach took a deep breathe after reflecting on the final one minute and 29 seconds of the game.

“These kids deserve it,” he said. “We lost a lot from last year. Not to be living in the past. People are not used to Brighton being 1-3. I’m proud of these kids. As bad as it was, they came out here and kept their heads up. They continued to fight. The assistant coaches, it’s all about assistant coaches and the players. Those guys have all really worked hard.”

in a seesaw battle the Cardinals fell behind four times during the contest to fight back tying the game three time and finally taking the lead with less than 90 seconds left on the clock.

Brighton senior quarterback Brady Stewart marched his team down the field finding his go-to target in fellow senior Artez Harris. The big blow came when Stewart went down field to Harris for a 47-yard TD making the score 28-27.

“I wasn’t trying to keep going to him,” Stewart acknowledged. “That’s how it turned out. He gets himself open. He puts him in the opportunity to get the ball. If he gets open, I’m going to get it to him.”

Harris said he has developed a connection with his signal caller.

“I believe in my quarterback,” he said. “We believe in each other. We just made a great play. It makes me feel like a leader knowing he can go to me. It makes me feel like the leader I’ve been working hard all summer for.”

It was the combination of Stewart to Harris that tied the game at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter. After suffering an injury, Harris returned to make several big catches in the second half.

His 22-yard TD reception was the third tie of the game.

Millington jumped ahead 7-0 in the first quarter when Stewart was picked off by Trojan safety George Odum at the 25-yard line. The senior raced to the end zone for the score.

Stewart regrouped and drove the Cardinals down the field. And the contest was tield at 7-7 when Stewart found Malcolm Terry. The track speedster flew past the Millington defenders and displayed his long-, triple- and high-jump ability by leaping over the goal line for a 33-yard TD.

In the second quarter Millington (3-2) regained the advantage when Moore connected with Webber over the middle for a 2-yard touchdown pass.

The 14-7 lead wouldn’t last long for the Trojans. After Odum popped the ball loose from Harris on a kickoff return it appeared Millington was in position to build on its lead.

As Harris was being assisted off the field, his teammate Bryant Conner stepped in front of a Moore pass on the five yard line. Conner took off and beat the 11 Trojans to the other end of the field for a 95-yard pick-six. The game was tied at 14-14 at the break.

Millington came out the locker room with an answer when Moore faked a handoff to Webber and kep the ball for a 85-yard run to the 5-yard line. Two plays later Webber was in the end zone to make the score 21-14 in favor of Millington.

The third quarter ended with the Trojans ahead 21-14. But less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Stewart connected with Harris for the 22-yard touchdown to tie the game at 21-21.

The Trojans would take the lead one more time when Moore threw a picture-perfect pass to wide out LaKeron Garcia for a 25-yard TD. But the extra point was missed and the score was 27-21.

“The main thing after a loss, we don’t like the feeling,” Stewart said. “This week we didn’t want to feel it again. We wanted to get that good feeling in our heart and start anew 1-0.”

Brighton (2-3) used two big catches from Harris, one picking up a fourth down to get the go-ahead touchdown. Chase Cutrer’s extra point was the difference.

“This win means lot,” Harris said. “We’ve been coming out grinding, grinding. It just feels like everything start closing on us. But we just kept the faith. We kept believing in each other. We kept it pushing, kept our motors going. I knew if we kept working hard we would come out with a win.”

Millington will try to bounce back next Friday traveling to Cordova. Meanwhile the Cardinals get ready for another rivlary game traveling to Munford. The Cougars picked up a 60-0 Homecoming win tonight over Northside.

“We still have a ton of stuff to work on,” Wolfe said. “Huge, huge game next week with Munford. Not just because it’s Munford, its a huge Region game. And they’ve got a really good football team. And they’re really well coached. You dont’ compare scores, but after our games with Millington, this should be a war.

“We have to put this one behind us, enjoy it tonight and get ready for next week,” he concluded. “Hopefully we can roll off some victories.”

 

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