LAVACA — For a game that wasn’t supposed to mean much, Lavaca and Cedarville put on a show in the second half, but the Golden Arrows rallied from a small deficit and held its breath on the final play of the game to win 34-20 at home Friday night.
The Golden Arrows (4-3, 6-4) trailed most of the game, but tied it up and took the lead as they scored on their first four possessions of the second half.
Lavaca tied the game 20-20 after a four-yard TD run by Coby Graves with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Lavaca’s defense held Cedarville on the next possession to a three-and-out and after the punt and the penalty, the Golden Arrows set up camp on the Pirate 10.
The Pirates held fast and Lavaca tried for the 29-yard field goal on fourth down. The kick was good, but Cedarville was flagged for roughing the kicker.
Lavaca gained a new first down on the Pirate 6. The Golden Arrows finally punched in on a fourth-and-goal with a two-yard run out of the polecat formation by Anthony Todaro, his third touchdown of the night.
Then it got interesting.
The ensuing PAT was no good, but an offsides penalty gave Lavaca another shot closer to the goal.
The Golden Arrows successfully executed another polecat offense for the two-point conversion. However, Lavaca was flagged for an ineligible player downfield as Graves scrambled, but completed the pass to the center.
Lavaca settled for the PAT on the third attempt and led 27-20 at the 8:39 mark in the fourth quarter.
A 53-yard run by Todaro on the next possession seemingly put away the game with 4:52 left as the Arrows led 34-20.
Or so everyone thought.
It took Cedarville two more possessions to get back into the game. With 1:52 remaining in the game, the Pirates began on their own 15 and thanks to a penalty tacked on at the end of a 28-yard pass, they were within striking distance. Austin Soehlman punched it in from 12 yards out with just 28.3 seconds left, as Cedarville trailed 34-27.
Cedarville’s Cody Cooper recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Lavcaca 47. Quarterback Dylan Shelton completed one pass, but was roughed up on the second play and Cedarville was on the Golden Arrow 20 with 12 seconds remaining.
Shelton tried for three passes in the end zone, but was unable to make the connection as the game ended.
“Lavaca has improved a lot. Coach (Mark) Headley does a great job,” said Cedarville coach Mark Shelton. “Our kids played their hearts out. They played hard. These kids always give their best effort. We just had too much to overcome this season.”
Cedarville’s quarterback Shelton passed the 2,000-yard mark (2,072) as he finished with 164 yard on 16-of-29 passing and one touchdown. Shelton also had 46 yards rushing and ran in a TD. Austin Soehlman had 20 carries for 114 yards and one score. Casey Sanders had one carry for a 24-yard touchdown run. Sanders also had seven receptions for 67 yards. Kendall Pittman had four catches for 57 yards.
The Pirates finished with 410 yards of offense.
Todaro paced Lavaca with 157 yards rushing on 21 carries and four touchdowns. Graves added 13 yards and a score. The Golden Arrows had 254 on offense.
Cedarville was flagged for just 15 yards on two penalties in the first half, but was peppered with six penalties for 75 yards (gave Lavaca four first downs as a result) in the second half. Lavaca was not flagged for any penalties on offense, but had just four for 50 yards (45 yards in the second half) on defense.
Cedarville led 7-0 after a 24 yard run by Sanders with 5:21 left in the fourth quarter. Shelton also completed a 10-yard pass to Abe Hernandez to give the Pirates a 13-6 lead in the third quarter.
Todaro had touchdown runs of 16 and 13 yards in the third quarter to help Lavaca climb to a 13-13 tie at the 9:09 mark. The Pirates took its final lead, 20-13, on a 10-yard keeper by Shelton.