WARRENSBURG — Harrisonville stunned Warrensburg with a touchdown and two-point conversion with 28 seconds remaining to hand the Tigers their first loss of the season, 14-13, on Friday, Oct. 4.
“It’s a disappointing outcome,” Warrensburg coach Chris Cavanah said. “It wasn’t for a lack of effort by our kids, our kids played hard, our kids battled, but ultimately we didn’t make enough plays throughout the entire ball game to get the win.”
Warrensburg appeared to have control of the game, leading 13-6, after stopping Harrsonville on fourth and two at the Tigers 32-yard line with seven minutes, 11 seconds left.
The Tigers attempted to duplicate their end of game performance in week five when they ran out the final six minutes against Pleasant Hill.
Warrensburg was able to milk two minutes off the clock before disaster struck.
Senior Miles Moore took a direct snap nine yards before coughing up the football, setting up the Wildcats on the Tiger 39 yard line with 4:48 to work with.
Harrisonville whittled its way down to the 15-yard line, eating up all but 28 seconds before back-up quarterback River Riley connected with Braydon Tarwater to bring the Wildcats within one, 13-12.
Riley found Tarwater again on the two-point conversion, giving Harrisonville its first lead since the 5:29 mark of the third quarter.
Warrensburg was unable to make anything happen with the final 28 seconds, snapping the Tigers five-game winning streak.
“Offensively, we are going to have to figure out a way to move the ball when they take (Moore) away,” Cavanah said. “We did at times tonight, but we didn’t enough when it mattered at the end of the game.”
Harrisonville limited the Warrensburg offense to 254 yards — 177 coming on the ground. Moore was the team’s leading rusher with 66 yards along with two fumbles as the Tigers were held without a run over 20 yards for the first time this year. Corbin Cowick added 45 yards on 12 carries. Shelby Pittsenbarger accounted for 43 yards on six carries.
“We made some adjustments throughout the game to counter their adjustments, but ultimately we made too many mistakes,” Cavanah said.
Harrisonville put the lone points of the first half on the board with 15 seconds left until the intermission as Jace Reynolds took a hand-off up the sideline for 86 yards and a 6-0 lead at the break following a missed point after attempt.
Warrensburg had a chance to take an early lead, but Carter Bell’s 36-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter sailed wide right.
“Too many missed opportunities offensively,” Cavanah said.
The Tigers struck for their first touchdown just past the midway point of the third quarter as junior quarterback Eli Nappe hit Pittsenbarger for a 42-yard touchdown, giving Warrensburg a 7-6 lead.
Warrensburg would turn to Pittsenbarger for its final score of the night, this time employing his throwing arm to find the endzone.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Tigers deployed a half back pass for a 32-yard pass from Pittsenbarger to Cory Conley to extend their lead out to 13-6 after missing the point after try.
Warrensburg falls to 5-1 on the season and 1-1 in Missouri River Valley Conference West play. Harrisonville moves into a tie for the top of the MRVC West with Odessa at 2-0 in conference action and 2-4 on the season.
This is the second straight week the Wildcats have knocked off an undefeated team.
Warrensburg will face Odessa in week seven hosting the Bulldogs (6-0, 2-0), who are coming off a 49-7 win over Excelsior Springs, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.