HOWE — Caddo Mills has been involved in several close decisions and a week after a triple-overtime loss the Foxes came away with a 12-7 comeback victory over Howe in District 6-2A (I) action on Friday night.
Caddo Mills (3-5, 2-2) had been held in check most of the night by Howe (2-5, 0-3) before quarterback Erik Richards connected with Keaton Jones on a 15-yard touchdown toss with just over a minute left to pull out the win.
For Howe, (2-5)(0-3) an excellent defensive effort came up short.
“For the first time this season our defense was able to change field position with stops,” Howe head coach Zack Hudson said. “You can’t beat scrambling, we held their kid in check pretty much all night but he got away two throws late.”
After the Foxes had driven to the Howe 23-yard line in the fourth quarter, keyed by a fourth-down pass from Richards to Jones, the Bulldogs stopped the march with some stellar defensive work by Levi Mrozinski and Zach Lea.
Taking over at its 24, Howe could not get a much-needed first down as time was running down.
Caddo Mills took over at midfield with 2:15 left in the contest and after a 37-yard pass from Richards to Chandler Brown, the Foxes scored the winner with Jones’ catch in the corner of the end zone.
Howe got off to a positive start, driving 73 yards for a touchdown. Two Caddo Mills penalties and a 30-yard run by Anthony Hawthorne fueled the march and the Bulldogs scored on an eight-yard pass from Joaquin Lopez to Randle Nix.
Hawthorne finished with 140 yards rushing on 20 carries.
After rushing for 265 yards against Pottsboro last week, Richards was being contained by the Howe defense. Richards netted just 28 yards rushing after being sacked six times.
In the second quarter, after a 31-yard run on an option read, Richards and David Chandler picked up a pair of first downs to keep the drive alive.
Jake Akins sacked Richards for a 13-yard loss but a Richards pass to Brown picked up 20 yards to the Howe nine-yard line. Richards connected with Jones for the touchdown but the Foxes extra point try fell short.
The two teams traded possessions, and turnovers, neither being able to generate any momentum over the next two-plus quarters.
The Bulldogs had a drive early in the third period with a 21-yard run by Hawthorne and a 30-yard scamper by Lopez that moved the ball to the Caddo Mills 30-yard line. An interception spoiled that scoring opportunity.
“We have to take advantage of every drive,” Hudson said. “We just can’t give the ball up like that.”
Howe got an interception by Mrozinski and a fumble recovery to stop Caddo Mills’ drives in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs travel to Commerce on Friday with each team looking for its first district win.