Loss at Unity, drops Cougars to 6-3, still play-off bound
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By Kent Coultas
Unity scored two touchdowns in the second half and beat West Central 32-29 in football Oct. 22 at Mendon.
The Cougars finished the regular season 6-3. They play at Arcola Saturday at 2 p.m. in the first round of the IHSA Class 1A playoffs. Arcola, which won the Lincoln Prairie Conference, has won seven straight games after starting the season 0-2.
Unity recovered a fumble in the end zone for the go ahead touchdown with 1:22 remaining in the third quarter. The fumble occurred on a bad snap when West Central was in punt formation.
The Mustangs scored again on a 9-yard pass with just 1:28 remaining in the game. Unity gained possession after forcing West Central to turn the ball over on downs on its own 11-yard line.
Landon Barnett caught a 7-yard pass from Tyson Brown on the last play of the game. Barnett kicked the extra point for the final three point margin. Parker Hoots caught a 37-yard pass from Brown earlier in the drive.
Ryan Moore scored three touchdowns in the first half, and the Cougars led 22-13 in the second quarter.
He scored on a 6-yard run with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter. Lathan Barnett caught a 23-yard pass from Brown to set up the touchdown.
Unity scored on a 69-yard pass with 1:40 remaining in the quarter. The Mustangs kicked the conversion and led 7-6.
The Mustangs scored on a 25-yard run with 6:32 remaining in the second quarter to extend its lead to 13-6.
Moore scored on a 38-yard run as the Cougars for his second touchdown of the game. He caught a pass from Brown for the conversion, and West Central led 14-13 with 3:02 remaining in the quarter.
Moore scored again less than a minute later when he returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown with 2:44 remaining. Lathan Barnett ran for the conversion, and West Central led 22-13.
Unity scored with just 26 seconds remaining in the quarter on a 26-yard pass. The Mustangs converted a fourth down during the possession as the quarterback was able to avoid two West Central defenders.
West Central had a touchdown called back in the second quarter because of a holding penalty. Unity intercepted a pass in the end zone a few plays later in the possession.
The Mustangs gained 288 yards and had 13 first downs in the game. They rushed for 101 yards on 34 attempts and passed for 187 yards.
West Central finished with 261 yards and 13 first downs. The Cougars rushed for 157 yards on 44 attempts.
Moore rushed for 108 yards on 12 attempts. Lathan Barnett rushed for 59 yards on 22 attempts. Chance Little rushed for six yards on five attempts.
Brown completed seven of 14 passes for 104 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Parker Hoots caught three passes for 65 yards. Lathan Barnett caught one pass for 23 yards. Landon Barnett caught one pass for seven yards, and Chance Little caught one pass for six yards.
Landon Barnett had nine tackles, including two for losses. Brown and Little each had nine tackles. Lathan Barnett had seven tackles, including two for losses. Josh Bailey and Owen Barber each had seven tackles.
Moore intercepted a pass, and Mason Berry recovered a fumble.