Taylorville hosted Mattoon on Friday night in the final Apollo game of the season for both teams. A very important game for Mattoon as they were one win away from being playoff eligible coming into week eight at 4-3. Taylorville had already clinched a playoff spot last week, they came in 6-1 and in second place in the Apollo.
Taylorville scored first just a few minutes into the game. Quarterback Parker Stokes ran in from 19 yards and Jagger Moore added the extra point for the 7-0 early Tornado lead.
A little bit later in the first, Julian Gittens took it in from 11 yards out and Quin Camfield’s kick was good, the score was tied 7-7 after the first quarter.
Most of the second quarter was scoreless until under a minute to play when Nick Poorman found Michael Smith for 10 yards in the endzone. Camfield’s kick made it 14-7 at halftime with Mattoon’s late score.
With momentum on the side of the Green Wave after the late touchdown to end the first half, Mattoon received the kickoff to begin the second half.
Gittens grabbed the ball on the short kick his own 44 yard line. Gittens found a way to go 56 yards back to the endzone for Mattoon’s second touchdown in the last minute of the clock. Camfield’s kick made it 21-7 early in the third quarter.
Later in the third, Mattoon had a drive stall deep in Taylorville territory. Mattoon’s kicker, Camfield, has been one of the better field goal kickers in the conference, he hit a 24 yard field goal to put the Green Wave up 24-7 in the third.
Finally, Taylorville put points on the board in the second half. Justin Wright caught a seven yard touchdown pass from Brendon Odam to cut the lead to 24-14 about halfway through the third quarter.
Taylorville got the ball back again in the third and again put points on the board. It was Stokes who ran in from 20-plus yards to put Taylorville within three points, 24-21 at the end of the third.
Getting late in the fourth quarter, Heath Fleming ran in from 15 yards out and gave the Tornadoes a 27-24 lead for the first time since the first quarter.
Mattoon had an answer though, Poorman hit Smith on a short, four yard pass to regain the lead 31-27 with under four minutes to play.
Taylorville failed to score again and Mattoon went on to pick up a huge 31-27 win over Taylorville.
With the win, Mattoon improves to 5-3 overall and eligible for a playoff spot now. The Green Wave go to 4-1 in the Apollo Conference and finish in second place behind Mt. Zion. The Green Wave can clinch a playoff spot for sure with a win at home again Marion next week to round out the regular season.
Taylorville, who has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, drops to 6-2 on the year and 3-2 in the Apollo Conference, where they finished third. Taylorville will host Bethalto Civic Memorial in their final regular season game next Friday.
Check out Greg’s interview with coach Johnson right below: