When two undefeated teams square off in a playoff situation someone must come out on the short end of the stick - unfortunately, this time it was close but no cigar for the DeSoto Thunderbirds.

 

When two undefeated teams square off in a playoff situation someone must come out on the short end of the stick - unfortunately, this time it was close but no cigar for the DeSoto Thunderbirds.
The Rebels of Tri-County Academy scored on the second play of overtime to post a 35-28 victory of the T-Birds here Friday night. The Rebels had trailed 28-21 with 41 seconds left in regulation time after putting together a 60-yard drive that culminated in a 13-yard tying-touchdown run.
The contest was close from start to finish but it was DeSoto that drew first blood and led through most of the game. The T-Birds got on the scoreboard at the 7-minute mark of the first quarter when Dylan Cruz broke free for a 45-yard touchdown scamper. The all-purpose running back also added the extra point and DeSoto led 7-0.
The lead was short lived when Tri-County answered the Thunderbird score with a long kickoff return.
Tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter, DeSoto ran into all sorts of problems in the early stages of the second quarter. A 50-yard touchdown run by Cruz was called back by a penalty, the first of 11 flags tossed against the T-Birds on the night. A fumble set up the Rebels second scoring opportunity of the night, giving them their first lead.
The Rebels put together an impressive and punishing drive on the T-Birds. A 35-yard drive that consumed 2:40 was capped off by a 1-yard quarterback sneak giving Tri-County a 14-7. It would be the last time the Rebels led in the game until they scored the game-winning touchdown.
It took DeSoto 3:05 to tie the game back up. Cruz crossed the goal line from a yard out that completed a 62-yard drive with four minutes to play in the half. Cruz had a 14-yard run earlier in the drive to set up the score.
The T-Bird defense forced the Rebels to punt on their next possession and with 1:56 to play before the intermission engineered a 55-yard drive, added by a 50 plus yard run by Cruz. With just nine ticks left on the clock, quarterback Blake Harper tossed a 2-yard scoring strike to give DeSoto a 21-14 halftime advantage.
Tri-County scored on a 1-yard run with 6:07 to play in the third quarter to tie the score 21-21.
Less than two minutes later, DeSoto regained the lead on a Harper to Paden Phillips touchdown pass that covered 61 yards.
DeSoto put together another impressive drive midway through the fourth quarter but a couple of delay of game penalties stymied the drive and the T-Birds had to settle for a 25-yard field goal attempt, which faded to the left.
That series appeared to be a momentum changer for the Rebels.
Tri-County went on offense first in the overtime session and scored on a 10-yard run. A 4th and 13 interception ended the Thunderbirds football season.