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By Brennan Riker
Special to The Post Dispatch
LITTLEFIELD-What seemed to be a sure victory turned into a heartbreaking shock last Friday, as the Post Antelopes (0-3) lost to the Littlefield Wildcats (3-0) by one point 21-20 at Wildcat Stadium. Post had maintained a 20-0 lead entering the 4th quarter, but Littlefield was able to find a surge and beat the Antelopes to the finish line to stay undefeated.
The Antelopes for the first time this season scored first, courtesy of a big 45-yard rushing touchdown from junior Isaiah Crawford. The Antelopes missed the 2-point conversion to take a 6-0 lead in the 1st quarter. For most of the first half, both defenses kept the opposing offenses in check, and the half was a tale of many punts. Crawford scored again later in the 2nd quarter with a 44-yard rushing touchdown, and Post converted the 2-point conversion to go up 14-0 with 3:56 left in the 2nd quarter. Littlefield throughout the game tried to get their offense rolling through the air, but the Wildcats struggled to connect with the deep ball.
In the 3rd quarter, Littlfield drove down the field in what looked like a potential touchdown drive for the Wildcats, but the Antelope defense was able to stop Littlefield on 4th down deep in Antelope territory. After that, Post scored again, and this time, it was a 10-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore Jamarion Reed. Post missed the 2-point conversion again to go up 20-0 with 44 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.
Despite the promising score, Littlefield was able to string together an inspiring comeback in the 4th quarter. Littlefield’s deep throwing game was starting to pay off for the Wildcats in this quarter, giving the Wildcats an edge in all of their 4th quarter drives. Littlefield started the quarter with the ball, and multiple times Post had the chance to end the drive. Penalties renewed the drive multiple times, and eventually, Littlefield quarterback Ethan Garcia snuck into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown to make the score 20-7. Post’s next drive ended in a punt, and once again Littlefield put together a solid drive that ended in a touchdown. Garcia scrambled and found the end zone again, this time going nine yards for the touchdown, and Littlefield was down 20-14 with 5:52 left in the game. Post then tried as long as possible to keep the Wildcats from getting the ball back, but a 4th down forced Post to punt the ball with 1:59 left in the game. Littlefield drove down the field to score the eventual game-winning touchdown and take the lead 21-20 with 39 seconds left in the game. Post was not able to get the ball down the field to win the game in the final drive of the game.
Crawford had a stellar game offensively and defensively, rushing for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and leading the team in solo tackles with four. Linebackers Sebastian Chapa and Steve Gonzales were all over the field all night on defense, contributing with 15 total tackles and 12 total tackles respectively. Post improved in taking care of the ball and handling it well, committing no turnovers on the night. Penalties ultimately hurt the Antelopes’ chances in this game, committing 12 penalties that setback Post a total of 135 yards. Out of 40 passing attempts, Littlefield connected 15 of those passes for 151 yards.
Post will play in Abernathy at Antelope Stadium tonight to take on the ‘Mighty Maroon’ Antelopes at 7:30 pm. Abernathy has had a great start to their season and have shown no signs of weakness with a 3-0 record and a #9 3A D2 Dave Campbell’s Texas Football ranking.