Smith clutch for Corning
The circumstances were different, yet eerily the same for the Cave City Cavemen in week five of the 2008 season.
A week after giving up 22 unanswered points in a 22-18 loss on the road at Piggott, a game in which the Cavemen rallied late but still fell, Cave City was back at home to host Corning Oct. 3.
In this game, it was the Cavemen that controlled the first half, but it was the Bobcats that rallied late with 14 straight points.
Still, the end result was the same, as Cave City (2-3, 0-2) dropped its second straight 3-3A Conference game, a heartbreaking 22-21 loss to Corning (2-3, 1-1) on Fall Royalty night.
And K.C. Smith was the fuel that ran Corning's Dead T attack in this game. Smith scored all three touchdowns for the Bobcats, and he also ran in the 2-point conversion that proved to be the game-winner in the fourth quarter.
Cave City was up 21-7 after a scoreless third quarter when Smith and the Bobcats got busy in the final frame.
On Corning's first series of the fourth, Clint Buckhanan broke free for a long run and a couple of snaps later, on fourth-and-10, Smith hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jake Arnold with 8:10 left in the game. Jake McDonald kicked the extra-point to pull the visitors from Corning within seven, 21-14.
The Bobcat defense did its thing on Cave City's next series, forcing the Cavemen to punt the football.
And although Tyler Woods pinned Corning deep at its own 14-yard line with a booming punt, the Bobcats still managed to take care of business.
And it was Mr. Smith that did so.
He scampered free for a 56-yard touchdown that came with 3:24 left in the game.
But instead of tying the game with the extra-point, Corning went for the lead with the 2-point conversion. This worked like a charm for the Bobcats, as Smith ran the ball in to give Corning its first lead of the game, 22-21.
Cave City still had a shot at an answering score.
Kyle Bradford ran the ensuing kick all the way out to the 49, giving the Cavemen good field position.
The Cavemen marched all the way to the Bobcat 16-yard line, where they were faced with a third-and-10 with 33 ticks left.
But instead of finding the points they needed, the Cavemen found only trouble as Jake Kegley picked off a pass at the 5-yard line to seal Corning's big one-point win.
Corning had a chance to post the first points of the game in the first, but Cave City's defense held on fourth down twice in the first 12 minutes of play, leaving the game scoreless after one.
But on the first snap of the second quarter, it was Cave City that hit paydirt on a 32-yard touchdown run from Chase Gorman. William Boyd kicked the PAT to give Cave City a 7-0 lead.
Cave City extended this into a two-touchdown lead after forcing Corning to punt on its next possession.
Caveman Dalton Carpenter hit Gorman with a nifty 21-yard pass and Tyler Engleman finished things off with a 5-yard TD run with 6:02 left until the half. Boyd's extra-point pushed Cave City on top 14-zip.
But Corning came right back on its next series, aided by a pass interference call on the Cavemen on fourth down at the Cave City 16.
With new life, Smith crashed in from eight yards out on first-and-goal for the Bobcats' first points of the game. McDonald's PAT narrowed the gap to 14-7, Cave City, with 1:14 left until the half.
Turns out that was more than enough time for Carpenter to get the Cavemen cranking.
He hit Gorman with a 29-yard pass, hit Joseph Curtis with an 11-yard pass, and then found Tyler Asberry for another 16-yard gain.
With the ball at the Bobcat 25, Carpenter then tossed a 20-yard strike to Curtis that placed the football at the 5 with five ticks left in the first half.
And again, it was Engleman that cashed in for Cave City, as he cruised into the end zone for his second TD of the second quarter.
Boyd's extra-point gave City City a big 21-7 lead.
Before time could expire in the first half, Cave City booted an onside kick that the Cavemen recovered at the Corning 35-yard line.
Boyd attempted a 47-yard field goal at the horn, but the kick was no good, leaving Cave City on top 21-7.
And while this advantage held up through the third quarter, Smith and the Bobcats put it all together in the final 12 minutes of play to up-end Cave City by a single point.