Second-half comeback falls short for Minford

When two teams combine to score 83 points in a high school football game, one can expect the outcome to be a little crazy.

On Friday evening, that factoid proved to be the case as the Minford Falcons rallied from a 40-14 deficit to nearly turn a nonconference battle between Nelsonville-York on its heels as Minford closed to within 43-33 with 5:02 remaining in the contest.

However, a 68-yard run by Keegan Wilburn rendered that comeback moot as Nelsonville-York was able to hold on, 50-33, in a wild contest at Nelsonville.

Even though Minford eventually fell behind by a 40-14 tally, it was the Falcons who carried the early momentum as star playmaker Breydan Tilley sprinted down the sideline for a 96-yard kickoff return that put Minford up by a 7-0 tally early on. Then, after a 27-yard run by Colt Yinger just over a minute and a half later, Mason Brisker answered the bell with his five-yard touchdown run to put Minford ahead by a 14-7 count with 5:12 to play in the first quarter — a margin that the Falcons would hold to the end of the frame.

Minford, however, had no answer for Nelsonville-York in the second quarter — Yinger and Garrett Maiden, in particular. In fact, the pair collected touchdown runs of 18, 15, and two yards respectively — with Yinger collecting a 14-yard pass from Maiden and the latter adding a 21-yard field goal — to allow Nelsonville-York to take a 40-20 lead into the fourth quarter.

Darius Jordan, however, wasn’t about to let his team go 1-2 on the 2017 season.

After catching a 26-yard pass from Kelton Kelley with 6:11 to play in the third quarter, Jordan and Kelley connected again for an 11-yard strike with 10:32 to play in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 40-27. Then, after collecting another stop, Kelley found Jordan Bowen for a three-yard passing touchdown with 5:02 remaining to cut the lead down to 10. Unfortunately, Wilburn’s 68-yard tote — which came less than 1:20 following Kelley’s third touchdown pass of the affair — proved to be the ultimate dagger in the affair.

Despite the loss, Kelley showed promising qualities after going 12-of-25 for 168 yards and three touchdowns for the contest after going 0-for-4 in the first half through the air. Four of his passes and 83 of the 168 yards passing went to Jordan, who collected arguably his most impressive performance of his career on Friday evening. Tilley added 30 yards receiving on two catches in addition to his 96-yard kickoff return for a score.

Bowen’s 28 yards receiving and a score on three catches, Brisker’s 44 all-purpose yards, and Casey Gaines’ 52 yards rushing on 10 carries were among the standout performances for the Falcons, who fell to 1-2 on the season. Minford will look to get back on track on Friday when the Falcons host Northwest.

By Kevin Colley

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