CALEDONIA — Bishop Kearney junior receiver Ardell Brown caught a touchdown pass with six seconds left, and junior receiver Jalen Long scored the subsequent two point conversion, to snag a 48-46 win over Cal-Mum on their homecoming night, in what might have been the best game Livingston County we’ll see all season.
The game was a battle between two quarterbacks, as Bishop-Kearney senior quarterback Tyler Kirton went score-for-score with Raiders senior quarterback Kurtis Haut and the Cal-Mum offense.
Less than two minutes into the game Kirton saw a weakness in the Raiders defense, changed the play at the line of scrimmage, and hit Brown for a 44-yard touchdown, then completed a pass for the two-point conversion, to open a 8-0 lead.
But Cal-Mum answered right back when a few runs by Haut, including one for 15 yards on 3rd and 10 near midfield, setting up a 13-yard touchdown by senior running back Joe Cappotelli.
After a short touchdown run by Cal-Mum senior running back Ryan Sickles and two more touchdown passes by Kirton, Haut ran for a touchdown to tie the game at 22 just as the half ended.
“They had nine or ten guys in the box all night and he was able to move the ball down field on them,” Cal-Mum head coach John Walther said, referring to Haut.
The Raiders got the ball to start the second half and drove all the way down to the three yard line before being stopped and forced to kick a field goal to pull ahead for the first time in the game. That lead did not last long, as Bishop Kearney took the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-25.
A 23-yard touchdown run by Cappotelli followed by another Kirton touchdown pass, this time a 13-yard strike to junior receiver Brandan Kellam, led to a 34-32 score in favor of Bishop Kearney at the end of the third quarter.
In the decisive quarter, Kellam caught another touchdown pass from Kirton, and Sickles and Haut scored another touchdown each, the latter to put Cal-Mum up by six, 46-40, with just two minutes left. Kirton led his offense down the field using both his legs and arm, and found himself at the Cal-Mum 14 yard line with 12 seconds on the clock. After a Cal-Mum time out, Kirton (six passing TDs total) was able to roll to his left and find Brown in the corner of the endzone to tie the game. Kirton then found junior receiver Jalen Long in the back of the endzone for the two point conversion and the win, sending Cal-Mum fans home with their hearts broken.
“They made more plays than we did down the stretch,” Walther said. “It came down to who had the ball last.”
Cal-Mum (3-1) plays next Friday, away at Warsaw.