The Abilene Cowboys snapped a three-game losing streak Friday night with a 22-20 victory over Pittsburg –St. Mary’s-Colgan. The game was played at a neutral site at Towanda-Circle which is a halfway point between the two schools. It was the first ever meeting for the two programs. The Panthers entered the game 3-1 and ranked #4 in Class 1A. The Cowboys on the other hand were 1-3 and coming off a 62-6 loss at McPherson.
Colgan took a 6-0 lead at the 2:25 mark of the first quarter, on a 4 yard run by Domenic Bebilacqua. Abilene put together an 11 play, 84 yard drive capped by Senior, Dakotah Whiteley on a 1 yard run to tie the game with 7:43 to play in the second quarter . Abilene would then take the lead on a two point conversion pass from Kaleb Becker to Preston Boyd to put the Cowboys up 8 to 6. It was the first time Abilene had led in a game since week 1 and the Cowboys would not trail the rest of the night.
Abilene would add to their lead on the opening possession of the second half on an 11 play, 66 yard drive that took 6:48 off the clock. Junior Quarterback Jackson Randles would score on a 7 yard run on 4th and 3 with 5:12 to play in the third quarter to put the Cowboys up 14-6.
Colgan would pull within 2 points, at 14-12, with a 97 yard touchdown run by Matthew Lomshek with 11:24 to play in the fourth quarter. Abilene would then get another 4th down touchdown from Randles , this time on a 4th and 18 play from the Colgan 19 yard line. He connected with Preston Boyd on a 19 yard pass play with 4:44 to go in the game. Mayden would then add the two-point conversion to give Abilene a 22-12 lead. The Panthers would not go away. Quarterback Cade Simmons connected with Conor Price on a 27 yard touchdown pass play to pull Colgan to within 22-18. On the extra point attempt, Cal Marquardt, the holder turned a botched snap into a two point conversion on a pass to Matthew Lomshek to make it a one possession game at 22-20. The Panthers had one final shot to win it as they had the ball at their on 12 yard line with 1:01 to play in the game with no timeouts. Colgan only managed one first down on their final drive and would turn over the ball on downs at their own 26 yard line.
The First National Bank of Hope Players of the Game were Senior Running Backs James Mayden and Dakotah Whiteley. Mayden returned to the lineup after being out last week and carried the ball 15 times for 125 yards. Whiteley had 23 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown. Abilene will travel for a third straight week next Friday as they play at Coffeyville. The Cowboys will then wrap up the regular season with games against Augusta and Ulyssess at home.