Archie’s Strong Offensive Start And Defensive Finish Answer Worth County’s 4th Quarter Challenge

Archie quarterback Briar McIntire ran for five touchdowns, threw for another, and caught a key 3rd-down-and-long pass in the 4th quarter to answer a Worth County charge as the Whirlwinds won their first MSHSAA 8-man football title Thursday night in Columbia, defeating the Worth County Tigers 40-26.

Archie took advantage of several first half defensive stops of Worth County’s offense to build a 22-0 lead early in the 2nd period. Archie did it by stifling Worth County’s rushing game which netted just 75 yards throughout the game. Worth County did find their way offensively with a couple touchdown passes in the first half and were within 28-14 with just 2 minutes remaining in the second quarter, but Archie responded and scored with just 8 seconds left in the half to take a 34-14 lead at halftime.

Archie would put together another 4-minute 40-second drive in the third quarter to build the lead to its largest margin of 40-14 with 7:20 left in the 3rd, but then Worth County began to get some defensive stops themselves. Worth County recovered a fumble in Archie territory with two minutes remaining in the third quarter and Tiger quarterback Tyler New rushed the ball for a 20-yard touchdown. Worth County then stopped McIntire on a 4th-and-2 at the Whirlwinds 24 yard line and Worth County scored on a five-play drive to make it 40-26 with 11:19 remaining in the game.

Kaden Sutton became Archie’s primary quarterback from that point, and fumbled the ball back to Worth County to give the Tigers a chance to make it a one-possession game still early in the 4th, but Sutton made up for the fumble by undercutting a pass play intended for Grant McIntyre for his second interception of the night at the Archie 3-yard-line. Worth County stuffed two running plays to force Archie into a 3rd-and-11 from their 1-yard-line, and McIntire made his final big offensive play of the night with a 29-yard pass reception to get the Whirlwinds into better field position. They didn’t score on the possession, but worked more time off the clock. Sutton, who was injured early in last year’s semi-final playoff loss to North Andrew, finished his defensive gem with his 3rd interception of the night to give Archie a chance to grind down the rest of the clock.

Worth County’s Tyler New went 16 of 31 passing for 233 yards and had two TD passes to Grant McIntyre and one to Bo Collins in addition to his rushing touchdown. McIntyre finished his Worth County career with 6 catches for 133 yards. New also had 23 tackles in the game, 3.5 for loss. Bo Collins had 3 tackles for loss.

Worth County ends their season with an 12-2 record.

McIntire had 225 yards rushing for Archie, who ran the table on the season, finishing with a 14-0 record.