Cayleb Jones, left, crosses the goal line for the game winning touchdown with 10 seconds remaining as Sid Martin celebrates in the background. – photo: Graham Stantiforth
Austin High 41, Anderson 35
by Patrick Olson
Although they lost their Friday, November 11 bidistrict game to Leander 35 to 14, the Maroons can savor and look back at their thrilling November 4 win over Anderson.
Needing to win by a touchdown to make the playoffs, Austin High (2-8, 2-3), trailing by three touchdowns, clawed their way back and snatched a last gasp 41-35 Friday night win over Anderson (5-5, 2-3) at House Park.
With ten seconds remaining, Cayleb Jones caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Michael Clawson to secure the victory. “It was very exciting. Our goal every year is to get into the playoffs,” said coach L.D. Williams. “It was a great way to get the win. Every year there is a Cinderella in the playoffs. Why not us?”
The Trojans ran ahead early 21-0 with a trio of rushing touchdowns. Clawson used his foot speed to help the home team produce a scoring drive later in the second period. Cayleb Jones snagged a 10-yard toss from Clawson for the Maroons’ first points of the contest. “It was important we scored at the end of the first half,” the coach noted. “Our staff then made some adjustments.”
Cayleb Jones took a short kick-off to the house at the beginning of the third quarter and infused Austin High with tremendous confidence helping slice the Trojan advantage to 21-14. “I think it made us believe we were gonna win,” Williams added. “Our kids kept fighting.” After Anderson scored again on another rushing touchdown, Austin responded with Clawson cruising over the goal line before Brandon Cramer added the extra point cutting the Trojan lead down to 28-21.
On the following kickoff, Alex Mercado recovered a fumble and Clawson found Sid Martin shortly afterward for his second of three scoring throws on the night. Clawson added another touchdown jaunt and Anderson tied the game with a rushing score. With David Martin, Charles Schneider and Linus Boley moving over from the offensive side of the ball, the Maroon defense rose to the occasion to give Clawson a chance to find Cayleb Jones for the thrilling conclusion on the final Austin High drive of the evening. “The whole defense stepped up,” the coach said. “They did a great job.”