Crucial Mistakes End Austin’s State Title Hopes

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

They say mistakes are just apart of football, but for the Austin Black Bears, it seemed as if everything was working against them when they traveled to take on the Ramsay Rams this past Friday for the Class 6A semi finals. Beating Ramsay would be no easy task. Although this was only the sixth year that the Ramsay had fielded a team, the Rams had one of the most talented teams in 6A North.

Ramsay flexed their muscles on the opening drive. Jamarcus Ellison carried three times for 57 yards including a 36-yard touchdown run as Ramsay took a 6-0 lead.

After a holding penalty forced Austin to punt, the Rams got back to business. A 10-play drive ended with quarterback Baniko Harley running in for a three yard score for a 12-0 lead.

The Black Bears answered on the next drive with a 13-play 65-yard drive that finished with Robinson running in from six yards out to cut the lead to 12-7. Robinson carried the ball eight times for 40 yards on the drive.

After forcing a turnover on downs, Austin began to march back down the field but the drive ended when quarterback Paxton Montgomery was picked off at the Ramsay 15 yard line. Ramsay added one more score before halftime with a one yard Ellison touchdown run to make it 19-7. The score was setup by a 46 yard run by Harley.

Sensing a need for a big play, Austin’s Tyrese Swoopes started the second half with a bang by returning the opening kickoff all the way to the Ram’s 47-yard line. A few plays later and Montgomery connected with Malieq Senior for a 43-yard touchdown pass. However, the touchdown was called back due to a holding call, which set up the first of two controversial turnovers. Montgomery was picked off down the sideline, the Austin coaches argued he was out of bounds but the call was upheld on the field.

After a fake punt, Harley connected with Tyler Horn for a 50 yard touchdown to make it 25-7 going into the fourth quarter as things began to look bleak for the Black Bears. However, Austin managed a blocked punt, which set them up in Ramsay territory. A few plays later and Montgomery found Jalik Jaggwe to cut the score to 25-14.

After that the Black Bears forced a three and out to give the ball back to the offense with eight minutes. Austin quickly moved into Ramsay territory before the second controversial turnover occurred. After catching a pass, Jaggwe leaped for a first down and the ball came loose. Again, Austin coaches argued that he was down but again the call was upheld on the field.

This was the final nail in the coffin as Ramsay took the win 25-14 to advance to the state finals. The Black Bears season ended in the semi finals for the second straight year.

 

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