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Miller stays red-hot, rallies to top Mitchell for 3rd straight victory, 21-20

Miller's Jacolby's Jones scored the game-tying touchdown Friday night as the Pirates prevailed, 21-20, after opting to kick the PAT rather than go for two.

Miller's Jacolby's Jones scored the game-tying touchdown Friday night as the Pirates prevailed, 21-20, after opting to kick the PAT rather than go for two.

CAMILLA — Frank Killingsworth didn’t really want to kick the extra point, but he was outvoted in a landslide — 30-to-1, to be exact.

Killingworth elected to send out kicker Justin Williams with 45 seconds to play after Miller County had tied its game against Mitchell County, 20-20. Williams, who missed his first extra point attempt of the night, booted a knuckler through the uprights to give the Pirates the lead before Mitchell flew back down the field and missed a 35-yard field goal as time expired to preserve a 21-20 Miller County win.

“I was going to go for two, but every one of my players said let him kick it,” Killingsworth said of the decision to give Williams a shot at the go-ahead PAT in the final minute. “Everyone of them. They believed, so I believed, too.”

Jacolby Jones caught the game-tying touchdown, a 6-yard slant from Algin Merritt, with 45 seconds to play to set up Williams’ PAT, which he made and then went flying down the Pirates’ sideline trying not to get tackled by a celebration mob.

But it wasn’t nearly over. Mitchell County quarterback Bruce Bryant hit Jaquan Williams on a 40-yard bomb on 4th-and-10 at the Miller 16 with 14 seconds to play before Miller County’s defense forced a fourth down.

Eagles’ first-year head coach Larry Cornelius decided to give his kicker a shot at the game-winner with two seconds to play, although Mitchell had gone for two the entire night and attempted no field goals on the season.

Williams, who hit from 40 yards in pregame, had the distance on the 35-yard kick, but it sailed just wide right to end the game.

“To be honest, when I got here I didn’t think we’d ever kick a field goal,” Cornelius said. “(Williams) just missed it by a foot. It’s a game of inches.”

Williams, who may be part jitterbug, and the Eagles flew out to a 14-0 lead behind the quick feet of the Mitchell County senior running back, who finished with two touchdowns to go along with 90 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving.

He busted a 57-yard touchdown run and had a 13-yard score with 4:10 left in the first half to put the Eagles (1-4, 0-1 Region 1-A) ahead 20-6 at the half. Kavoris Pollard added a 13-yard scoring run for Mitchell, which dominated the opening two quarters.

“We came out flat in the first half,” Miller’s Jones said. “We just came out with the big head (after beating ranked Marion County last week). This (close win) will kill all that.”

Miller (4-1, 1-0 Region 1-A) shut out Mitchell in the second half and cut the lead to 20-14 with 6:38 left in the third on Jones’ 69-yard touchdown run, setting up the fourth quarter dramatics. Jones finished with 78 yards rushing and 64 yards receiving.

Marvin Grant had 130 yards rushing for the Pirates and scored their only first-half points on an 86-yard touchdown run.

Miller hosts Calhoun County next week, while Mitchell goes to Randolph-Clay.