Minden loses heartbreaker to Homer

Photo by Douglas Blow

Journal Staff

A furious Minden Crimson Tide comeback attempt fell just short when Homer’s defense sacked quarterback Jacobe Jackson inside the Pelicans’ 20-yard line with no time left on the clock to preserve a hard-fought 33-26 win Friday at Tide Stadium.

Minden had clawed back into the game after falling behind 27-7 early in the second quarter. Those Homer scores included an Elyjay Curry 80-yard kickoff return after the Tide had pulled ahead by 7-6 on a Brian Swann two-yard run that capped a 9-play, 77-yard drive. 

Following Swann’s score, Homer reeled off  21 straight points on the strength of the kick return and a pair of touchdown runs by Curry. Curry was the top rusher among a group of speedy Homer running backs and also scored the Pelicans’ first TD, a 45-yard dash. He would finish the first half with 133 rushing yards.

But the Crimson Tide gained the momentum following a Curry 52-yard dash when Jackson scrambled 33 yards into the endzone with 8:24 left in the half to finish a 68-yard drive. Bryson Ranger’s successful PAT made it 27-14, but the Tide wasn’t through.

After a long Homer third-down touchdown run was called back on a holding penalty, a bad snap on the ensuing punt attempt gave Minden the football at Homer’s 35-yard line. Just three plays later, Daylen Robinson powered in from one yard out to send the Tide into halftime trailing just 27-20.

Minden inched closer, taking the second half kickoff near mid-field and moving to paydirt 12 plays later when Robinson waltzed into the endzone for a two-yard score. Key plays in the drive were a fourth-down conversion at the Homer 23, and a Jackson-to-Jaylin Williams pass completion to set up the score. A missed conversion attempt left the score 27-26.

With four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Homer added its final score on Gregory Williams’ five-yard run. A blocked extra point attempt may have ended the night’s scoring, but it didn’t end the excitement.

Minden had taken the ensuing kickoff and moved quickly downfield to the Homer 22-yard line before a penalty set the ball back to the Pelican 34. A Jackson pass attempt was tipped by a defensive back, and the ball landed in the hands of another Pelican defender who made the catch while lying on the ground at the 12-yard line to end the third quarter.

Another opportunity presented itself to the Tide when a Homer fourth-down conversion attempt failed at its own 30 midway through the fourth quarter. That chance didn’t convert to points when a Crimson Tide fourth-down run was stopped short at the Homer 9-yard line. 

Minden dodged a big bullet when a 91-yard Curry touchdown run was cancelled by a holding penalty. A second penalty backed the Pels up to their own 21, and the Tide took over at the Homer 46 following a punt with 2:03 remaining in the game.

With no timeouts left, Jackson scrambled to the 38, but had to leave the game due to leg cramps. He managed to come back a couple of plays later, but found his team looking at fourth down from the Homer 36 with under 10 seconds left. His pass into the endzone was incomplete, but an interference penalty gave Minden one more chance from the 19 with no time remaining.

An all-out blitz by the Homer defense managed to end the game, preserving the win for the defending Class 1-A state champions. With the win, Homer evens its season record at 1-1 while Minden now stands at 0-2.

For Minden, Robinson gained a tough 143 yards on 24 carries and Jackson ran 15 times for 46 yards. Cameron Mitchell had seven carries for 24 yards, Swann had 18 yards on three tries and Jaylin Williams rushed three times for 13 yards. 

Curry led all rushers for the game with 198 yards on 17 carries, while Gregory Williams carried nine times for 40 yards.

Jackson completed nine of 13 pass attempts for a net 92 yards, hitting Williams with six of those for 56 yards. Brayden Britton caught two passes for eight yards and Mitchell had one 28-yard catch.

Homer outgained the Tide on the ground, picking up 260 yards on 34 attempts compared to 244 yards on 52 runs. But Minden led in total offense, netting 336 yards while Homer showed 291. Neither team fumbled the football.

Minden will tackle an old parish rival next Friday, travelling to Springhill to take on North Webster.

Photo by Douglas Blow

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