Wildcats drop homecoming heartbreaker

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  • Cade Morgan looks for running room against the Indians Friday. Morgan finished 66 yards and a touchdown. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Quarterback Mason Peters fights through the rain to find a receiver in the third quarter Friday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • Cade Morgan looks for running room against the Indians Friday. Morgan finished 66 yards and a touchdown. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Quarterback Mason Peters fights through the rain to find a receiver in the third quarter Friday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

The Wildcats saw a homecoming victory slip away in the final seconds Friday as Browning used 24 fourth-quarter points to down Columbia Falls 32-26.

Columbia Falls took a 26-8 lead into the fourth quarter, only to see the Indians rally with four touchdowns in the final 12 minutes, capped by a 14-yard scoring pass from Cody Carlson to Cody Boggs with four seconds to play.

The Cats outgained Browning on the ground in the loss with 162 yards on 29 carries to the Indians’ 148, but Browning passed for nearly twice as many yards as Columbia Falls, picking up 279 yards through the air to the Cats’ 142.

The Cats got on the scoreboard first in the opening quarter on a 14-yard pass from Mason Peters to Taylor Bryan and went up 14-0 early in the second quarter on a 2-yard run by Cade Morgan.

Browning got on the board a few minutes later on a 43-yard pass from Cody Carlson to Jessie Carlson on a play that was at first negated by an illegal procedure penalty. After Browning called a timeout and the play was discussed, the officials picked up the flag and counted the touchdown. A 2-point conversion run by Trevor Fisher cut the Wildcat lead to 14-8 with 6:08 to play in the half.

The Cats responded with an 80-yard return for a touchdown on the resulting kickoff by Bryan to go up 20-8 heading into the halftime break.

Peters pushed the lead to 26-8 heading into the fourth quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, but the Browning offense could not be stopped in the final frame.

Touchdowns by Jessie Carlson and Fisher cut the lead to 26-20 before Fisher took the ball in from two yards out to tie the score at 26-all with 1:01 to play.

The Cats had a chance to drive for the win, but a Peters pass was picked off and returned to the Wildcat 21 yard line to set up the game-winning touchdown by Boggs.

Peters finished the game 16 for 24 passing for 142 yards with a touchdown and an interception and also ran 10 times for 61 yards and a score. Morgan finished with 66 yards on the ground and 17 through the air while Isaac Balla rushed for 35 yards and had 10 receiving yards.

Brad Nieves led the Wildcat in receiving yards with 45 while Bryan added 39 and Jaxon Heinz had 20.

Balla and Heinz also had interceptions for the Cats on defense.

With the loss, Columbia Falls drops to 1-4 this season. The Wildcats will be on the road Friday as they take Hamilton at 7 p.m.

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