On a cold, frigid night, the Maroons' 23 point second-half comeback fell just three points short.
After storming all the way back from 36-13, the Madisonville North Hopkins Maroons lost, 53-50, to Mayfield on a short, last-second field goal to spoil North's senior night.
The game seemed lost for Maroons after a sluggish start but they showed their heart outscoring the Cardinals 23-0 in the third quarter to make it a shoot out till the end in the final quarter.
North had a chance to repeat as district champions with the win but Mayfield just edged out the game-winning the fourth quarter 17-14.
Jeriah Hightower found success rushing for 179 with three scores, while Hayden Reynolds led the offense to 579 yard showing but ultimately the effort came just short.
Mayfield's put up the best offensive performance the Maroons had seen this year picking up a total of 444 yards.
The loss puts the Maroons at 8-2 going into the postseason next week.
The Cardinals quickly took the buzz off the home crowd in the opening quarter. North opened the match with a quick three and out, had a bad punt and gave Mayfield five yards jumping offside. Mayfield responded to the situation by scoring in three plays but missed the extra point to g up 6-0.
Hayden Reynolds then brought the excitement right back to the game. The Maroons started the drive around their 30 and Reynolds picked apart the defense going on a four-minute scoring drive. He started with back to back bruising five-yard runs to get a first down then hit six straight passes to cross the field capped off by
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hitting Deljuan Johnson on an 11-yard slant to go up 7-6
The score started a shoot out. The Cardinals followed up the great Reynolds drive by crossing the field in a minute and half of the game time to grab the lead at 13-7. North tried to respond quickly but found a wall getting stopped at the 45 yards and were forced to punt the ball.
There was no wall for the Cardinals on the other end. Mayfield again got the ball an quickly found themselves in scoring position burning North's secondary again and finished there the third score of the night with a 35-yard fade throw to the corner of the end zone.
Hightower started out the night in rough form having four straight negative running plays to start, he went back to being his normal self at the right time. With North needing a score to keep up with the pace, Hightower broke out with a 24-yard touchdown run that put the game at 20-13.
Trying to build on the score, North tried an onside kick in the ensuing kickoff but failed to recover. Nick Grant hit a rolling kick and tried to quickly run after it but the Cardinals responded the play and grabbed the loose ball to keep possession.
Mayfield capitalized on the improved field position by quickly scoring again with another air raid drive capped off with another deep pass over the top to go up 27-13.
The Maroon defense that had allowed under 26 points in all their previous games were failing to slow down the Cardinals. Mayfield scored points every time they had the ball and the 36 points scored in the first half alone was the highest amount for the maroons all year.
Cardinals closed out the first half getting a 29-yard field goal, picking off Reynolds, who was looking for a for deep throw four plays later and scoring another touchdown with under a minute of the clock to go up 36-13 at the break.
North defense opened the second half coming up with their stop of the game and the momentum started switching their way. Reynolds went on a 48 scamper to get the Maroons inside the ten, then hit Grant on a seven-yard slant and converted the two-point conversion to get the game at 36-21.
The good time continued to the defensive side of the ball when Krey Cunningham changed the game on its head. In the first play with the ball, Mayfield's pass got tipped on the line and Cunningham came up with an interception and brought it all the way home to get the home crowd going.
North continued adding to the lead coveting a two-point conversion to make it a one-score game at 36-29 with six minutes left in the third.
Then the defense that was struggling to stop anything in the first half forced another three out to quickly give the ball right back to the offense.
North took their time with possession going 65 yards to tie the game up, taking five and half minutes to cross the field and bring the home crowd back to its full strength. Reynolds provided the crucial score with a 10-yard dash where he trucked two Cardinal defenders waiting on the line to cap off a third-quarter with 23-0 run to tie the game at 36-36.
Mayfield found their offensive grove again right at the beginning of the fourth quarter getting a 15-yard run to get back ahead by seven with 11 minutes on the game. The score set up a tight back and worth the rest of the way.
On the ensuing possession, Hightower found his second score of the night escaping 45-yard run to get the to 43-43. Then the Maroons found their second interception of the half with Marquise Parker taking care of a deep throw to give North the ball at the 20 and give North a chance to their first lead of the night.
And they would take it.
The Maroons crossed the field in four minutes with Hightower ending the drive with an 8-yard run that gave the Maroons their first lead ta the night at 50-43.
Mayfield bounced right back from the error by quickly finding another score in a drive where they converted two fourth-down plays and tied it at 50 with three minutes left.
Reynolds was leading a commanding drive to clinch the game when disaster truck. A Mayfield defender jumped a outside route and got an interception to give them the ball late. They took the ball quickly all the way to the goal line and kicked a last-second field goal to win after the Maroons had successfully stopped them on the line on three occasions.