Tharptown Wildcats fall to Brilliant Tigers at homecoming

By Bart Moss / For the FCT

The Tharptown Wildcats were within striking distance of their second win of the season heading into the fourth quarter but couldn’t overcome the Brilliant Tigers, losing 43-24.

“We had a chance going into the fourth quarter,” said Tharptown coach Kevin Lacey. “We just couldn’t get there. I thought we made some nice big plays and made some good stops, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Brilliant overpowered the Wildcats on the ground, rushing for 224 yards and holding the Wildcats to just 23 yards on 13 carries. Most of the Wildcats’ big plays came through the air and on special teams.

Briley Kirby passed for 183 yards on six completions. Kirby had a 56-yard touchdown pass to Luis Macias, a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jovani Gomez, a 36-yard completion to Macias and a 28-yard completion to Nathan Lucas.

Macias also had a 38-yard kickoff return.

Brilliant got on the board first with 6:41 to go in the first quarter on a one-yard run to take a 7-0 lead.

Tharptown tied the game with 6:37 to go in the second quarter on the 56-yard touchdown pass from Kirby to Macias. Gomez added the PAT.

Brilliant took the lead with 1:05 to go in the first half on a 46-yard pass but missed the point after to make the score 13-7.

Tharptown responded with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Kirby to Gomez with 0:05 to go in the half. Gomez then added the point after to give the Wildcats a 14-13 halftime lead.

Tharptown extended the lead to 21-13 with 7:07 to go in the third quarter on a six-yard run by Macias, and Gomez added the point after.

Three plays later, Brilliant tied the game 21-21 on a 12-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion.

The Tigers reclaimed the lead with 2:43 to go in the third quarter on a 22-yard run and two-point conversion to make the score 29-21.

Macias nailed a 35-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter to cut the Brilliant lead to 29-24. The Tigers, however, pulled away late on two scores – a six-yard touchdown run and eight-yard touchdown run – to win the game.

Tharptown has an open date this week and does not play. The Wildcats will return to action next week when they travel to Hatton.

Kasey McCormack was crowned Tharptown’s 2018 Homecoming Queen.

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