Christian Hernandez kicked his fourth field goal of night as time expired to give Clear Creek a 41-39 victory over Channelview in Saturday’s game at Challenger Columbia Stadium.
Hernandez was good from 24 yards out to culminate a late two-play drive that moved the Wildcats from their own 41 to the Falcons’ 9 in the final 35 seconds.
Clear Creek’s junior kicker had earlier converted field goals attempts of 32, 21 and 31 yards in addition to four extra points.
A heart-pounding fourth period saw the two teams combine for 27 points in rapid succession.
Channelview struck first using a 68-yard drive in 11 plays to take a 33-30 lead with 7:48 left in the game.
The Falcons used their ground game exclusively to convert on and third and fourth down before using a 14-yard run by Trevor Chandler to finish things off.
Clear Creek’s next possession stalled at midfield, where quarterback Hunter Smith used a quick punt to pin Channelview at its own 2.
The Wildcat defensive line swarmed a run up the middle from Kadarius Taylor and pinned him for a safety to reduced their deficit to one.
Clear Creek took the kickoff and ran off a 3-minute drive that covered 74 yards in nine plays.
The drive featured a fourth-and-1 run from Bryce Borer at the Wildcat 45 and 23-yard scramble by Smith that turned a loss into a large gain.
Alex Robles finished the drive with a 6-yard run with 1:49 left to play.
Clear Creek failed on a two-point conversion run and settled for a 38-33 lead.
Nightmares of last week’s last-minute loss to Deer Park came to mind after Channelview responded with a lightning drive to regain the lead.
Two big runs by Alton Lott and a 30-yard passing strike from Mack Perry to Devin Jennings staked the Falcons to a 39-38 lead with 35.4 seconds showing.
Channelview missed its two-point try, allowing Clear Creek one final hope.
Taking over at their own 41, the Wildcats got a break when a Falcon interception was nullified by a pass interference penalty that moved the ball to Channelview 44.
Smith then threw to Peter Miller, who made a spectacular catch at the Falcon 9 with 7.2 seconds remaining.
That set the stage for the game winning kick by Hernandez.
Smith finished the contest with 152 rushing yards. He added 103 yards through the air with touchdown connections to Miller and Liam Gunter.
Clear Creek finished with 306 rushing yards to 234 yards for Channelview.
Taylor had the big play of the night for the Falcons with a 98-yard scoring run in the opening period.