MINFORD – Matthew Risner doomed Wilmington Friday night, helping Minford to a thrilling 31-27 victory over the Hurricane.
Risner caught two touchdown passes on offense and intercepted three passes on defense, including one in the end zone to thwart Wilmington’s last-ditch effort to win the game.
The Hurricane seemingly lost the game after coming up short on a fourth and one play with less than 2:00 to go in the fourth.
However, Minford fumbled on the next play and Josh Snell recovered for WHS and suddenly there was a new hope. Cam Coomer found the range on this drive, connecting with Carter Huffman, Chris Custis and Isaiah Rigling on three pass plays. A holding call on WHS pushed the ball back to the 40. That’s where Coomer heaved one to the end zone and Risner came out of the pack with the ball to seal the win.
Minford is 4-0 on the year while Wilmington drops to 1-3.
Coomer ran for 130 yards and passed for 170 yards but the WHS passing game generally struggled. Malik Scott left the game in the first quarter and that hampered the WHS ground game.
A Wilmington fumble led to Minford’s first points, a field goal midway through the opening quarter.
The Hurricane had several big plays on offense in the first quarter, including a long Coomer kickoff return and a Coomer to Isaiah Rigling 32 yard pass. Wilmington took the lead on a Coomer 5 yard run and Rory Bell extra point kick at 4:55.
The Hurricane defense was solid against the run, holding down a Falcons team that ran for more than 400 yards last week. Jordan Tackett, Jeffrey Valentine, Chris Custis and Bradley Sturgill had a strong defensive half for WHS.
Risner put Minford on his back with two scores and put WHS in a 16-7 hole but Wilmington pulled within 16-10 at the half on Bell’s last second field goal from 31 yards out.
Kendal France’s pick six in the early third seemed to “unclog” the Minford scoreboard. Both teams began scoring at will after a sluggish first half. Minford regained the lead, 23-17, shortly thereafter but WHS continued the flurry of points in the third period on the next drive. Coomer converted a fourth down play, a spot that wasn’t welcomed by the hometown fans at Minford. Coomer tied the game with a 49-yard touchdown run at 4:53. Bell’s PAT put WHS back on top 24-23.
Risner’s third touchdown of the game and two-point conversion made it 31-24 Minford.
A Coomer 10 yard touchdown run was wiped off the board by a holding penalty and on the next play Coomer was sacked at the 25. After an 8 yard run by Coomer, WHS opted for a field goal attempt by Bell, a 34-yarder that made it 31-27 with 9:35 to go in the fourth.
Haunted by 15-yard penalties on the next drive — WHS had more than 100 yards in penalties for the game — the Hurricane allowed Minford to drive the length of the field.
But the defense pulled up its boot straps and forced a field goal attempt of 27 yards, a kick that misfired and kept the WHS deficit at four.
With 3:48 to play, the Hurricane offense was faced with 83 yards of real estate in front of them to take the lead. Wilmington managed one first down but came up short on a fourth and one play, turning the ball back to Minford and setting up the heart-stopping ending.
Sept 20, 2019
@Minford High School
M-Caleb Uhaus 26 yard field goal, 7:27
W-Cam Coomer 5 yard run (Rory Bell PAT good), 4:55
M-Matthew Risner 47 yard pass from Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis (Caleb Uhaus PAT good) 9:50
M-Matthew Risner 16 yard interception return (PAT failed) 2:52
W-Rory Bell 31 yard field goal, 0:01
W-Kendal France 30 yard interception return (Rory Bell PAT good) 10:55
M-Touchdown (Caleb Uhaus PAT good)
W-Cam Coomer 49 yard run (Rory Bell PAT good) 4:53
M-Matthew Risner touchdown pass from Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis (Wiget run) 3:00
W-Rory Bell 34 yard field goal, 9:35