Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
That was certainly the case Sept. 26 as Cave City made the long trip to Piggott to open 3-3A Conference play with the homestanding Mohawks.
And while the Cavemen managed to hold Piggott scoreless in the second half of play, Cave City did allow the Mohawks to rattle off 22 unanswered points in the first half, leading to a tough 22-18 victory for the home team.
And this was keyed by Piggott's (3-1, 1-0) ability to keep Cave City's (2-2, 0-1) Double Wing attack in check, with the Mohawks and their Dead T offense chewing up the clock, keeping the Caveman offense on the sideline.
Just one week after Cave City's dynamic rushing duo of Tyler Engleman and Chase Gorman gashed Yellville-Summit for 290 yards on the ground, the pair managed just 86 yards against Piggott, on 21 carries.
Piggott's Jim Threatt had a big night toting the football, as he racked up 149 yards on 23 carries for the Mohawks.
But the way the game started, it looked like Cave City might run away and hide with the lead.
Just three snaps from scrimmage inside the start of the contest, Cave City quarterback Dalton Carpenter (nine-for-15, 149 yards passing) let fly with a deep pass. The ball was tipped by a Piggott defender, right into the hands of Tyler Asberry, who ended up with a 56-yard TD pass. William Boyd's PAT was no good, but barely a minute into the game, Cave City led 6-0. Asberry reeled in four catches for 96 yards on the night.
But controlling the clock while chewing up four or five yards at a time is what Piggott excels at, as the Mohawks proved on their first possession of the game.
Piggott ran off over five-and-a-half minutes on the clock, going 68 yards for its first points of the game. Michael Morgan ran the ball in from four yards out on second-and-goal to get the Mohawks on the board. The extra-point was no good, but with 5:23 left in the first, the game was locked at 6-all.
Piggott moved in front thanks to an 8-yard TD run from Threatt with a shade over two minutes left in the first. Corbin Chase carried in the 2-point conversion to give the Mohawks a 14-6 lead after one.
If not for a big-time stand by Cave City's defense, this lead would have ballooned early in the first.
The Mohawks made it all the way to the Cave City 1-yard line, where they were faced with fourth-and-goal. Justin Howell tried to push the ball across, but the Caveman defensive front would have none of that and stopped the Piggott fullback in his tracks.
But the Mohawks still found a way to get points when Daniel Baldwin stopped Cave City in its own end zone for a safety two snaps later, giving Piggott a 16-6 advantage.
Piggott added one more touchdown to its lead at the 4:51 mark of the second on a 6-yard touchdown run from Threatt. Cave City stopped the 2-point attempt, but the teams went to intermission with the homestanding Mohawks in front 22-6.
The Cavemen kind of caught their second wind at the break, especially on defense, and came out ready to play in the third quarter.
Piggott had the ball at the Cave City 25, when on fourth down, Alan Wright sacked Baldwin to snuff out the Mohawks drive and give Cave City the football.
The Cavemen then put together an impressive 75-yard drive, highlighted by a 40-yard burst from Engleman that moved the ball to the Piggott 46-yard line.
A few snaps later, Gorman exploded into the end zone from four yards out on third-and-goal. The 2-point try was stopped, leaving Cave City down by 10, 22-12, after three quarters.
Cave City still kept its hopes for a victory alive in the fourth by pulling within four points on a 1-yard Engleman touchdown run at the 7:40 mark. Boyd kicked the extra-point, but a false start penalty on Cave City wiped that out, forcing Boyd to try the kick from the 17-yard line. That PAT was no good, leaving Cave City trailing 22-18.
Cave City forced Piggott to punt on its next series, giving the Cavemen the football with 5:49 left in the game at their own 46-yard line.
Piggott bailed Cave City out on a fourth-and-long with a pass interference penalty, giving the Cavemen a fresh set of downs.
The Cavemen pushed the ball to midfield, where another pass interference call on Piggott gave Cave City a first down at the Mohawk 41 with 41 ticks left.
After a couple of incomplete passes, Carpenter hit Joseph Curtis (four catches, 67 yards) with a 13-yard pass that placed the ball at the Piggott 41.
But that's as far as Cave City could get, as time ran out, leaving the Cavemen with a tough four-point loss to open conference play.