It looked like Cloudland had finally solved the Coalfield equation on Friday night. However, the Yellow Jackets weren’t ready to call it a season yet.
Cloudland dropped a heartbreaker on Friday night as Coalfield took a 29-24 victory in the Class A playoffs after the Yellow Jackets scored with 25.2 seconds remaining on Warrior Hill – the site of the game after it was moved from Orr Field.
The ‘Landers went toe-to-toe with the squad that had defeated them the last four seasons entering the night.
Cloudland marched down the field on the game’s opening drive, but was stopped at the Coalfield 33 on fourth down. The Yellow Jackets responded with a methodical drive of their own covering 67 yards in 14 plays. The drive was capped when Ashton Jones scored on fourth and goal – after the ‘Landers defense had stuffed Coalfield at the one on the previous plays – and the extra point gave the Yellow Jackets a 7-0 lead.
Cloudland, however, wasted no time answering. Senior Jordan Coffey raced 48 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the next offensive series. Coffey added the two-point conversion to give Cloudland an 8-7 lead going to the second quarter.
In the second quarter, Coalfield struck first as Peyton McKinney hit Seth Lowe for a 47-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was wide left.
The ‘Landers, however, weren’t going to be outdone as CHS went on their own lengthy drive. Cloudland took the lead when Malachi Benfield found KJ Arnold for a seven-yard pass, and then Triston Lacy added the two-point conversion. That gave Cloudland a 16-15 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, the ‘Landers used the ground game to take control once again. Coffey capped off a 14-play drive with a two-yard touchdown run. The senior added the two-point conversion as Cloudland took a 24-15 lead into the final quarter.
The teams traded possessions to open the final quarter – including a fumble for each.
The Yellow Jackets got on the board with just under five minutes to play as Jonathon Woodward scored on a 39-yard touchdown. The extra point was wide left as CHS maintained a 24-21 lead.
After Cloudland was unable to convert a third and long at midfield on the next drive, Coalfield got to work with just over two minutes to play. The Yellow Jackets saw Woodward move them into Cloudland territory and a scrambling McKinney find an open receiving on fourth down to keep the drive alive and move the ball to the Cloudland 11.
That set-up a pass over the middle as McKinney hit Isaac Van Whitsonburg for the game-winning touchdown with 25 seconds left on the clock.
The ‘Landers didn’t quit, however.
Benfield and Lacy connected on consecutive passes as CHS quickly moved the ball into Coalfield territory. The last play of the game was unsuccessful as CHS was unable to extend the season.
Cloudland was paced by Coffey as he tallied 206 yards on 37 carries with two touchdowns. Benfield threw for 71 yards passing on 4-of-8 passing, while Lacy had 64 yards receiving.
As a team, Cloudland edged Coalfield in total yards 320-309.
The loss ends the ‘Landers season with a 9-3 record. Friday night was the first loss to a Class A opponent this season.
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