Bulldogs looking for a win against Effingham after a tough loss to Mattoon

MATTOON — Mahomet-Seymour knows all about tough football losses. Against Mascoutah, it was a missed extra point and a fumbled snap on a potential game-winning field goal that ripped a win out of the Bulldogs' grasp.

On Friday, it was another costly mishandled snap. M-S was inside the Mattoon 5-yard line with a chance to take a 14-10 lead heading into halftime, but the mishandled snap allowed Mattoon to retake possession and wiped away a massive scoring opportunity.

M-S battled back through adversity to take a 21-17 lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by super sophomore Clay Hubble, but Mattoon responded with back-to-back touchdowns and held on for a 31-28 win.

M-S got off to a slow start, as it trailed 10-0 until Jordan Veldman broke through for a 7-yard touchdown run to bring the 'Dawgs within three late in the first half.

Mattoon quarterback Jack Pilson hit Brock Smith on a 6-yard touchdown pass to take a 17-7 lead, but M-S continued to scratch and claw its way back into the game.

The Bulldogs' senior quarterback, Dawson Finch, hit Veldman for a 17-yard touchdown and then Hubble's touchdown scamper gave M-S a brief lead.

But the Bulldogs defense struggled to contain a good Mattoon offense all night, and Pilson connected with Smith on the go-ahead 15-yard touchdown on fourth down. Then, Pilson rushed for a 5-yard score which gave Mattoon a 31-21 lead with just over three minutes left in the game.

Finch had one more rally in him as he connected with Veldman for a 45-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-21, but M-S couldn't corral the ensuing onside kick and Mattoon held on for the victory.

Pilson finished with 177 passing yards, and he added 84 yards on the ground. Overall, Pilson accounted for four total touchdowns. He passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another. Smith finished with seven catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns. The M-S defense was gashed for just under 400 yards of total offense.

Ethan Carlson and Dallas Carnell both had 11 tackles for M-S. Daunte Roberts led the way with 16 tackles, while senior safety Connor Thomason had one big interception.

Nathan McFall and Zach Travis each notched seven stops.

Finch had a career-high 204 passing yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Veldman continued to be a dynamic weapon all over the field. The senior running back had nine carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. He also led the Bulldogs with seven receptions for a season-high 132 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Hubble had eight carries for 39 yards and a score. Dylan Gates had 32 rushing yards and added 20 receiving yards, while Thomason reeled in two catches for 52 yards.

Mattoon improved to 4-1 on the season and 3-0 in Apollo Conference play. The loss was brutal for the Bulldogs in a variety of ways.

A one-score loss for the second time in the last three weeks is tough, but it also likely knocked the Bulldogs out of playoff contention.

M-S (1-4) will have to win all four of its remaining games, and then hope it can qualify for the playoffs at 5-4. Five wins would put the Bulldogs on the playoff bubble, but they would be sweating it out to see if they had enough playoff points, which are determined by the combined wins of all the opponents on the schedule.

M-S can't put itself on the playoff bubble if it doesn't beat a good Effingham team tonight. It's homecoming, so M-S should be fired up, but Effingham is 3-2 and will be highly motivated to get one step closer to playoff eligibility.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Frank Dutton Field, following a 6:30 ceremony honoring the second Mahomet-Seymour Education Foundation Hall of Fame class. Six new members will be enshrined.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports

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