MAXWELL – There was too much ground for the Collins-Maxwell-Baxter football team to make up against Prairie City-Monroe in Class 2A District 6 competition Friday in Maxwell.
The Raiders struggled to finish drives in the first three quarters, scoring just seven points over that span. That allowed PCM to build a three-touchdown lead.
CMB caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points. But it was too little, too late as the Raiders were handed a 35-27 defeat on homecoming night.
"We spotted them a 21-0 lead and you just can’t do that against a team of that caliber," CMB head coach Rob Luther said. "Give our kids credit for battling all the way back and fighting to the end."
PCM took advantage of a CMB mistake to take a 6-0 lead three minutes into the game. The Mustangs’ Ricky Reeve picked off a Zach Samson pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.
"The pick six was a tough way to start out our first drive," Luther said.
The CMB defense kept PCM’s offense off the board in the first quarter, but the Mustangs put together two scoring drives in the second quarter.
Blake McWilliams capped a Mustang drive with a 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and with 2:21 to go in the half, Reeve hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Logan Gilman.
CMB finally put something together on offense just before the end of the first half.
Samson – CMB’s starting quarterback – caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from backup Raider signal caller Brady Stover with only seven seconds to go in the second quarter. Joey Nissen added the extra point to pull CMB within 28-7 at the half.
The momentum from that drive failed to carry over into the second half though, as CMB went scoreless in the third quarter. PCM, meanwhile, put one touchdown on the board as McWilliams found the end zone from seven yards out with 58 seconds left in the third to give the Mustangs a 28-7 lead.
With only one quarter to go, it would’ve been easy for CMB to fold. Instead the Raiders put two touchdowns on the board in a three-minute span to get right back in the game.
Samson completed the rare trifecta of throwing, catching and running for a touchdown in a single game to get CMB within 28-20. He scored on a 3-yard run with 10:27 to go in the fourth, and at the 7:28 mark he connected with Austin Moorman on an 8-yard touchdown pass.
But PCM wasn’t about to allow victory slip away from its grasp. The Mustangs responded to CMB’s two quick scores with a touchdown drive of its own to claim a 35-20 lead.
McWilliams scored his third touchdown of the game and second from seven yards out with 4:07 left.
CMB still had time to put a scare into the Mustangs. It only took a shade over two minutes for the Raiders to complete another scoring drive as Samson found Bryce Kemp on a 23-yard scoring strike with 2:02 left.
Nissen added the extra point to pull CMB within one score. But the Raiders couldn’t finish off the miracle comeback in the final two minutes as they fell to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in 2A District 6.
"We saw glimpses in the second half of the way we need to be with our tempo and execution," Luther said. "We just have to be more consistent on offense."
The Raiders were hurt by the loss of starting tailback Zach Huffaker, who suffered a broken collar bone.
Samson completed 14 of 29 passes for 207 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 58 yards on 19 carries and had the one 12-yard touchdown reception.
Moorman had a big day catching the ball as he made eight receptions for 121 yards. Kemp caught two balls for 48 yards, Stover made two catches for 27 yards and Hunter Gunderson had one catch for 16 yards.
Moorman was CMB’s second-leading rusher as he ran the ball twice for 20 yards.
As a team CMB outgained PCM in total yards, 312-286.
PCM (2-2, 1-0) did nearly all of its damage on the ground as the Mustangs ran for 270 yards on 48 carries. McWilliams did the heavy lifting for PCM as he ran the ball 36 times for 218 yards.
Gilman ran for 26 yards and he was 2 of 4 passing for 16 yards. PCM finished the game without committing a single turnover.
Kemp led CMB in tackles with 12. Austin O’Connor and Clayton Weltha both made eight stops and Logan Cory and Nick Little each had seven for the Raiders.
Next up for CMB is a non-district road game at Nevada. The Cubs also sport a 1-3 record and it will be their homecoming game.
"We are obviously not where we want to be after four games," Luther said. "But we have some big games ahead of us. Nevada isn’t a district game, but right now we need to just play, get better and compete for four quarters."
The CMB-Nevada game will take place at Cub Stadium in Nevada. It is set to start at 7:30 p.m.
PCM 35, CMB 27
PCM 6 15 7 7 – 35
CMB 0 7 0 20 – 27
PCM – Ricky Reeve 42 interception return (kick failed), 8:48
PCM – Blake McWilliams 1 run (McWilliams run), 10:25
PCM – Reeve 9 pass from Logan Gilman (Chase Wilkie kick), 2:21
CMB – Zach Samson 12 pass from Brady Stover (Joey Nissen kick), 0:07
PCM – McWilliams 7 run (Wilkie kick), 0:58
CMB – Samson 3 run (Nissen kick), 10:27
CMB – Austin Moorman 8 pass from Samson (kick blocked), 7:28
PCM – McWilliams 7 run (Wilkie kick), 4:07
CMB – Bryce Kemp 23 pass from Samson (Nissen kick), 2:02
Team statistics PCM CMB
Rushes-yards 48-270 26-93
Passing 2-4-0 15-31-1
Passing yards 16 219
Total yards 286 312
Fumbles lost 0 0
Punts-average 3-37.3 3-28.0
Rushing: PCM – Blake McWilliams 36-218, Logan Gilman 3-26, Zach Uhlenhopp 2-13, Luke Cummings 3-8, Ronnie Marshall 4-5. CMB – Zach Samson 19-58, Austin Moorman 2-20, Bryce Kemp 1-7, Zach Huffaker 1-4, Gabe Schabillion 3-4.
Passing: PCM – Gilman 2-4-0-16. CMB – Samson 14-29-1-207; Brady Stover 1-2-0-12.
Receiving: PCM – Ricky Reeve 1-9, Uhlenhopp 1-7. CMB – Moorman 8-121, Kemp 2-48, Stover 2-27, Hunter Gunderson 1-16, Samson 1-12, Schabillion 1-(-5).
Tackles: CMB – Kemp 12, Austin O’Connor 8, Clayton Weltha 8, Nick Little 7, Logan Cory 7.