Tigers lose by matter of inches vs. Huskies

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Mountain Home Tigers were driving towards the goal line Friday night against Emmett in their home opener.

Trailing 6-0 to the Huskies, Mountain Home lined up for the final play of regulation, with the ball on the Husky eight-yard line. On a quarterback keeper, Jesse Cobos bootlegged his way toward the end zone and a tying score (and with the point-after try attempt, a chance for the Tigers to get a win).

But, as has happened numerous times in the past 23 games, it was not to be.

Cobos was stopped short of the goal line -- the ball an inch or less short of the end zone -- and the Tigers on the short end of a 6-0 contest.

The game was a hard-hitting defensive struggle, with Emmett winning the field position battle all night. The Tiger defense kept Emmett out of the end zone except for early in the second quarter when, after intercepting a pass, the Huskies started on the Mountain Home 25 yard-line and in six plays took it in for the score. The PAT was no good and Emmett led 6-0.

With time becoming a factor, Mountain Home started a drive on its own 35 with 3:45 left in the game. Emmett killed the drive with a fumble recovery on the Tiger 37 with 2:49 left.

The Tiger defense rose up and took the ball back over on downs with 1:21 left in the game at the Mountain Home 33-yard line.

Mountain Home's final drive was kept alive by numerous major penalties by Emmett and the Tigers, out of timeouts, started their final play with eight seconds left, the clock running out as Cobos was tackled short of the end zone.

"We're getting closer," said Tigers head coach Aaron Rodney after the game. "Down to the one-inch line. I thought he was in, but that's neither here nor there. It's frustrating. We're getting better -- I can see that -- it's a process where we're getting better.

"Defensively, we played great. We played really good," the coach added. "Offensively, we didn't play very well. This week, we've got to find ways to put more points on the board. We've got weapons, but we need to execute better, and if we can put points on the board we're going to win a lot of games. It's a tough one, but we'll go back to work and start working on Columbia."

Coach Rodney was proud of his team the way they never gave up and battled all the way to the end.

"The kids are playing well," he said. "We haven't had a lot of success around here in a while, and getting them to believe that they're playing well has obviously been a challenge, but for two weeks now, we've played well enough to win, and we didn't get it done, so we need to find some ways to put some points on the board -- that's the bottom line."

The Tigers rushed the ball 27 times for 61 yards. Ryan Eckstrom had 64 yards on 17 rushes. Jake Ryan rushed twice for three yards, Jesse Cobos had seven carries for two yards and Paul Tancredi had one rush for minus eight yards.

Through the air, Jesse Cobos completed nine of 21 passes for 60 yards. He had two passes picked off. Paul Tancredi threw one incomplete pass.

Tancredi caught five passes for 23 yards. Nigel Whitfield caught two passes for 19 yards and Levi Abrahamson had two receptions for 18 yards.

Emmett rushed the ball 45 times for 155 yards and completed six of 15 passes for 64 yards.

The Tigers host the Columbia Wildcats Friday night for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Tiger Field.

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