HARD YARDS: Carroll County’s Gage Welch (with ball) fights through a Kentucky Country Day tackle for yards in the Panthers’ 31-28 loss Friday at Panther Field in Carrollton. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
HARD YARDS: Carroll County’s Gage Welch (with ball) fights through a Kentucky Country Day tackle for yards in the Panthers’ 31-28 loss Friday at Panther Field in Carrollton. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
Needing a big comeback, Carroll County football pulled off back-to-back big plays for touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to tie Kentucky Country Day 28-28 only to be denied by a 27-year field goal 31-28 as time expired on Friday night in Carrollton.

Carroll, a team known for big plays early in the 2018 season, lived and died by that Friday night as the Panthers rallied from a 28-14 fourth quarter deficit with just over seven minutes left being tied 14-14 at halftime and playing a scoreless third quarter.

Quarterback Andre Mumphrey showcased his speed and put the Panther offense on his back, running for 58 yards and a touchdown with 7:48 to go to trim the deficit to 28-20. After Carroll forced a punt on the Bearcats’ next series, Mumphrey — pinned back deep in his own territory — sprinted out of the pocket and raced 80 yards into the end zone to cut the margin to 28-26. His two-point conversion pass was successful and the game was tied 28-28 with 3:58 remaining.

However, Kentucky Country Day (2-2) had plenty of time to work with and marched down the field with relative ease looking to win the game while chewing up the game clock in the process. A 30-yard pass play put the ball on the Carroll 12-yard line and a 2-yard run by Nick Smith moved the Bearcats to the 10-yard line with just five seconds left.

The Bearcats called a timeout to set up the kick and the Panthers then used two timeouts to try and ice KCD kicker Michael Smith, who had been blocked by the Panthers in the first half.

However, Smith returned to the field following the second timeout and booted the 27-yard game winner as time expired to deny the Panthers.

The Bearcats had looked poised to run away with the game early in the fourth quarter after an interception late in the third put KCD within striking distance to open the fourth. A shovel pass from Luke Russo to Nick Smith went for a 42-yard score and Michael Smith’s extra point put the visitors up 21-14 with 11:11 left. Country Day then followed that up with a 7-yard touchdown run by Dorian Heard and another Smith extra point to push the lead to 28-14 at the 7:48 mark.

The final seven minutes was a more accurate reflection of the game as both teams played back and forth through the first three quarters prior to KCD’s 14 point spurt early in the fourth quarter.

David Duncan gave Carroll an early 6-0 lead on a 44-yard touchdown run with 5:42 left in the first quarter and KCD answered back just a minute later on a 22-yard run by Blake Caldwell and an extra point to take its first lead at 7-6. Caldwell again went on the run, this time blazing a trail for 93 yards and a trip to the end zone with 2:00 to go in the opening period.

The extra point was good for a 14-6 advantage but the Panthers tied the game just before the end of the period on a 32-yard pass from Mumphrey to Duncan paired with a two-point conversion. Neither team scored in the second and third quarter, setting up one of the most exciting fourth quarters of football the area has seen this year.

Carroll (2-2) looks to rebound at home next Friday night when the Panther host Eminence. The Warriors, now 3-0, and ranked No. 19 in Class A, defeated Atherton 66-41 Friday night and have scored 48 or more points in each game this season.

FRIDAY’S CARROLL SUMMARY

at CARROLLTON

KENTUCKY COUNTRY DAY 31,

CARROLL CO. 28

KCD 14 0 0 17 — 31

CARROLL 14 0 0 14 — 28

SUMMARY

1st Quarter

CAR - David Duncan, 44-yard run (kick no good), 5:42.

KCD - Blake Caldwell, 22-yard run (Michael Wright kick), 4:35.

KCD - Caldwell, 93-yard run (Wright kick), 2:00.

CAR - Duncan, 32-yard pass from Mumphrey (two-point conversion good), 1:03.

4th Quarter

KCD - Nick Smith, 42-yard pass from Luke Russo (kick good), 11:11.

KCD - Dorian Heard, 7-yard run (kick good), 7:48.

CAR - Mumphrey, 58-yard run (two-point conversion failed), 6:47.

CAR - Mumprhey, 80-yard run (two-point conversion good), 3:58.

KCD - Michael Wright, 27-yard field goal, 0:00.