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Colonels fall in second round playoff battle at Mays, 34-27

Kaden Ellis (11) and William Buttram (35) played major roles on the Cass defense during the 2022 season.

The upstart Cass Colonels lost a back-and-forth Class 5A state playoff battle to the Mays Raiders Friday night, 34-27, at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta.

The Colonels and Raiders traded the lead throughout the night, but the Colonels’ final possession — down by seven points — ended with a pair of incompletions and Mays took over on downs with only a few seconds remaining.

Mays scored on the first play from scrimmage after receiving the opening kickoff and benefitting from a 15-yard penalty, A double pass (lateral) from quarterback Saulomon Evans to Jeremiah Carroll set up Carroll’s 56-yard connection with Clayton Coppock for a 7-0 lead following Isaac Sanchez’s kick.

Following an exchange of possessions, Cass linebacker Kevin Henderson snagged a deflected pass and returned it 20 yards for a pick-six. Saul Viella’s kick knotted the score at 7-7.

Devin Henderson recovered a Mays fumble on the Raiders’ next possession. Three plays later, Cass quarterback Brodie McWhorter finished off a 36-yard drive with a three-yard keeper to give the Colonels a 14-7 lead with 7:23 to go in the first quarter.

Mays tied the score again early in the second quarter.

Running back Triston Morgan capped an eight-play, 53-yard Raiders’ drive with a 3-yard run with 11:42 remaining in the period. The 14-14 score would stand until just before halftime.

In the final minutes of the half, Mays used its power running game to march 65 yards on 11 plays. The scoring play was a 10-yard quarterback scramble by Evans with 0:40 left in the second quarter. The PAT kick failed to send the Raiders to the locker room with a 20-14 lead.

Following a scoreless third quarter, Cass gained some traction with its running game to regain the lead.

The Colonels drove 60 yards on 13 plays late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. Mac Nelson scored with a four-yard run and Viella’s kick put Cass up 21-20 with 10:40 remaining in the game.

Less than a minute later, the Raiders had retaken the lead.

Morgan took a handoff on a counter play, got to the sideline, and sprinted to a 63-yard touchdown. Although a two-point conversion pass attempt failed, Mays had a 26-21 lead with 9:44 to play.

Cass drove their next possession 74 yards on six plays for a score and the sixth lead exchange of the night. McWhorter connected with Sacovie White for a long pass and Mac Nelson added a run to the Mays’ two yard line. On third and goal at the two, Cass ran a double-reverse pass play with White finding Devin Henderson in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. A two-point conversion pass attempt failed, but the Colonels held a 27-26 lead with 7:11 remaining.

A short kickoff and a good return by Mays to their own 49 yard line set up the game winning drive for the Raiders. The seven-play sequence was capped with a 21-yard run by Evans. A two-point conversion run by Morgan gave Mays a 34-27 lead that would hold as the final score.

Cass drove back down the field and converted a fourth-and-three play (McWhorter to White) to keep their final drive going in the final minute, but the next series would end on downs leaving the Colonels seven points short.

Mays (8-4) moves into the state quarterfinals where the Raiders will travel next Friday to Dutchtown.

The Colonels’ season ends with a 5-7 record.


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