|Special teams cost Rains in 13-12 loss to Princeton|
|By Trey Hill | News-Telegram Correspondent|
Oct. 2, 2004 - PRINCETON - The Rains Wildcats dominated the Princeton Panthers Friday night. However, a pair of failed point-after kicks and three scoreless trips into the red zone left Rains on the short end of a 13-12 final score.
The loss drops the Wildcats' record to 1-4 for the season while Princeton remains unbeaten at 5-0.
Rains out-performed Princeton by grinding out 360 yards on 58 offensive plays while Princeton collected 245 yards on 31 snaps. Rains dominated the ground game with 327 yards on 53 carries while Princeton carried the ball just 16 times for 63 yards.
Tyler Jones led the Rains ground assault with 205 yards on 25 carries.
Rains took the early lead in the first quarter on a 49-yard touchdown run by Jones. Derek Hurst's point-after attempt was blocked by the Panthers, leaving a 6-0 score.
The Wildcats had an opportunity to extend their lead in the first quarter. After forcing the Panthers to second straight three-and-out series to begin the game, the Wildcats took the resulting punt and drove 60 yards into Princeton territory. But the drive ended when Aaron Combs was stopped a yard short on a fourth-and-six play.
Princeton took a 7-6 lead shortly before the half when quarterback Dustin Poole completed a 46-yard touchdown pass to Alvero Alvarado. Chad Owen added the point-after kick for the halftime score.
Rains let a chance to retake the lead slip away in the third quarter. After holding Princeton to two short possessions, the Wildcats drove the ball down to the Princeton 14-yard line. But the drive was derailed when Princeton intercepted a halfback pass in the end zone.
Penalties played a pivotal role in the outcome of the game. Not only did penalties halt the Wildcats' drives they also provided Princeton with needed first downs when their offense was struggling.
A 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty was the catalyst for Princeton's second touchdown. Following the flagrant penalty, Poole completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Justin Taylor to extend the Panthers' lead. An illegal procedure penalty resulted in a failed PAT leaving a 13-6 score.
Rains answered the Princeton touchdown with a 10-play scoring drive of their own.
Daniel Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 38 yards, then Jones, Potts and Hurst added runs of 15, 12, and 17 (respectively) to set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Potts to draw the Wildcats to within 1 point of Princeton. But Hurst's point-after kick sailed just wide right leaving Rains with a 13-12 deficit with just 3:50 remaining in the game.
Princeton seemed poised to run out the clock when the Rains defense, led by sophomore Aaron Marshall at nose guard, got penetration into the Princeton backfield forcing a fumble that the Wildcats recovered with 1:20 remaining on the clock.
Potts completed a 33-yard pass to Matthew Runion to move the Wildcats to within striking distance. Potts followed with a pass to L.N. White. But as White pulled in the ball in it hit his leg and popped out. Princeton caught the football for an interception to end the Wildcats' final attempt for the win.
Friday night Rains begins district play by traveling to Quinlan to take on the Ford Panthers.
Rains 6 0 0 6 -12
Princeton 0 7 0 6 -13
Rains - Tyler Jones 49 run (kick blocked), 7:04
Princ - Dustin Poole 46 pass to Alvero Alvarado (Chad Owen kick), 1:41
Princ - Poole 24 pass to Justin Taylor (kick failed), 7:47
Rains - Aaron Potts 9 run (kick failed), 3:50
First downs 14 12
Rushes-yards 53-327 16-63
Passing yards 33 182
Comp-Att-Int 1-5-2 9-15-0
Punts 5-33.8 5-48
Fumbles-lost 0-0 6-2
Penalties-yards 8-70 2-15
RUSHING - Rains: Tyler Jones 25-205, Aaron Potts 8-49, Derek Hurst 5-28, Aaron Combs 7-22, Mandel Christian 4-9, Daniel Davis 2-8, Walter Bauer 1-3, Anthony Lewis 1-1. Princeton: Blain Bosenbury 5-29, Deon Hardy 5-19, Alvero Alvarado 5-14, Casey Giddens 1-6, Dustin Poole 7-(-5).
PASSING - Rains: Aaron Potts 1-4-1-33, Aaron Combs 0-1-1. Princeton: Poole 9-15-0-182.
RECEIVING - Rains: Matthew Runion 1-33. Princeton: Alvarado 3-83, Justin Taylor 2-45, Jacob Wiley 2-26, Hardy 1-24, Isaac Marrufo 1-4.