Chillicothe's Markel Cain scores late touchdown for a Cavs win.
How important is the “point after touchdown”? An easy answer for the Cavaliers following their 14-13 victory at Jackson Friday night.
Trailing 13-7 with under two minutes remaining in regulation, Chillicothe’s Markel Cain raced 16 yards on a pitch right and had a clear path to the east end zone of Jackson’s Alumni Stadium for the tie. Jacob Weber knocked in the PAT and Chillicothe held on for a 14-13 win to improve to 3-6 overall and 2-2 in the SEOAL.
Jackson had taken a 6-point lead on a 34 yard touchdown run by quarterback Steven Kearns, but following two penalties on PAT tries, a third attempt by Jimmy Voiles sailed wide left of the upright.
The Ironmen had taken a 7-0 lead on a 12 yard TD run by Derek Rafferty. The run completed a 10 play 65 yard drive which followed a miscue on a Cavs punt return. After forcing Jackson to three plays and a punt on their first possession, the short kick fell at the feet of the Cavs’ Steven Bayless who had his back to the play setting up to block on the return. Jackson recovered the ball and had new life.
Chillicothe tied the game on a 28 yard run by Ryan Mathis with 1:52 left in the first half. Isaiah Johnson had a big defensive stop to force an Ironmen punt. Adam Bixler returned the kick to the Jackson 40. Four plays later and the Cavs are tied at 7.
The Cavs had a fourth quarter threat stopped by a Rafferty interception in Jackson territory, but the Chillicothe defense held its ground and got the ball back in the hands of the offense with 5:46 left.
The Cavs marched 54 yards on 10 plays capped by Cain’s 16 yard run with 1:32 left. The Ironmen failed to convert on four straight passes and Chillicothe picked up the win.
The loss was a blow to the Ironmen (5-4/3-1) league title hopes. Gallia Academy stands as the only undefeated team in the SEOAL after a 23-14 win over Logan Friday. Jackson heads to Gallia Academy to finish the season next Friday.
The 166 total yards for Jackson was their fewest gained this season. Meanwhile, the Cavs had an efficient night mixing up the run and pass. Cain had 18 carries for 62 of Chillicothe’s 142 yards on the ground and Mathis completed 7 of 14 passes for 123 yards.
The Chillicothe win served as vindication for Coach Ron Hinton, whose first Cavalier team dropped a 15-14 decision to Jackson on a two-point conversion.
As the series ends with Chillicothe’s move to the South Central Ohio League next season, the Cavs lead the Jackson series 34-20-2.
The Cavs will honor their seniors Friday night in a season finale at Herrnstein Field with Portsmouth (1-8/0-4).