By Marvin Moore
KAUFMAN – Derek Clamon scored on a short run with 36 seconds left on the clock, and the Kaufman Lions survived a furious second-half comeback to knock off the Crandall Pirates, 32-27, Friday night at Lions Stadium.
Crandall (1-1) outgained Kaufman 362 to 297 in total yards, but a bevy of missed opportunities proved too much to overcome for second-year coach Kyle Hardin’s squad.
Kaufman (2-0) opened the scoring on a 27-yard touchdown strike from Clamon to Daylon Dickerson to grab an early 7-0 lead. The Lions added another score minutes later when cornerback Brayson Gomez intercepted a tipped pass and raced 34 yards to paydirt to give the home team a 14-point advantage.
Trailing 26-7 after one half, the Pirates responded with a 75-yard scoring drive to start the third quarter. Junior running back Chris Abron capped the drive with a short touchdown run, and a successful two-point conversion cut the lead to 26-15.
The Pirates were back in business after Abron broke loose on a long run to the Lions’ eight-yard line. However, Crandall’s high-octane offense stalled and turned the ball over on downs.
Abron found the end zone again on another short run early in the fourth quarter to reduce the deficit to 26-21. The Pirates defense continued their second-half resurgence and stopped Kaufman on downs with 3:41 left in the game.
The Pirates tasted their first lead of the contest when senior quarterback Jamonte Gordon-West connected with junior wideout Luke Moffitt for the go-ahead touchdown to give the visitors a 27-26 lead with less than three minutes left on the clock.
However, Kaufman snatched the momentum away from the Pirates on the ensuing kickoff when fullback Raikyuviun Shaw took the ball to Crandall’s 25-yard line to set the stage for Clamon’s late heroics.
Crandall will host the Alvarado Indians (0-2) next Friday night at Pirate Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Marvin “Merv” Moore is an award-winning sports writer who served stints as sports editor and editor-in-chief of the Bethel University student newspaper. A 1984 Seagoville High School graduate, Merv has also coached baseball in Europe and Asia. He can be reached at email@example.com.