Taylor County nearly gave away its sixth winning season in the last 23 years, but strong defense and the running of Daulton Turpin and Dylan Bright enabled the Cardinals to a post a 33-28 home triumph in their season finale.
“We had to get this one,” TCHS coach Eric Graves. “We’ve not had many winning seasons the last 20 years or so.”
The Cardinals (6-4) looked well on their way to a blow-out win as Bright and Turpin tallied in the first quarter and Turpin added a second-quarter TD for a 20-6 cushion.
However, the Raiders (4-6) scored on a 25-yard run by Chris Bradley with 14 seconds left in the half and trailed only 20-14 at intermission.
Bradley also scored the first touchdown on a 38-yard fumble recovery.
Brian Simmons scored with 9:56 left in the third to put Hart County up 22-20 on a 32-yard run with a loose pigskin.
But, Turpin zigzagged his way for a 48-yard score to put TCHS back up 26-22.
However, the Raiders had their third defensive TD of the night when Bradley stripped the ball and went 30 yards for a 28-26 Hart County advantage.
Turpin sprinted 52 yards for his fourth TD of the night and finished with 245 yards while Bright had 175.
Defensive stops by Colton Fair, Jared Peake and Turpin plus a fumble recovery by Austin Harris and an interception by Marquis Johnson kept the Raiders off the scoreboard after TCHS lost an apparent score on an inadvertent whistle on a Hunter Christie carry.