DIANA - Ore City fell behind early, rallied and then held on late to earn a 41-39 win over the New Diana Eagles on Thursday at Eagle Stadium in a key District 7-3A Division II contest.
New Diana (3-5, 2-2) led 13-0 after one quarter and 27-21 at halftime, but Ore City pulled ahead late on a 5-yard run by Garrett Young. The Rebels (4-5, 3-2) were driving for a sealing touchdown late in the contest, but a fumbled snap led to a turnover at the New Diana 2-yard line and gave the Eagles one final chance.
The Eagles turned the ball over on downs, however, and Ore City was able to take a knee twice to end things.
New Diana scored twice in the opening quarter on touchdown passes of 5 yards from Jackson Sampson to Cody Payton and 34 yards to Jacob Choyce.
Ore City got on the board with a 3-yard run by Nick Hughes less than a minute into the second quarter, but Jackson tossed two more touchdown passes before the break - hitting T.J. Rogers for 18 yards and Terrence Lloyd for five yards - as the Eagles built a 27-7 cushion.
Ore City quarterback Cartea Douglas then got going, hittign Keylan Bowens on a 26-yard scoring strike with 7:04 to play in the half and then scoring on a 31-yard run with 2:50 to play as the Rebels pulled to within six points at intermission.
A 12-yard touchdown run by Wesley Chilton 46 seconds into the second half tied the contest at 27 apiece, but the Eagles moved back in front 33-27 on a 15-yard run by Choyce a minute later.
Ore City tied things again at 33 eight seconds into the fourth quarter on a 12-yard run by Hughes, and then took the lead for good with 7:03 to play on Young's 5-yard touchdown run. That score capped a four-play, 75-yard drive and was set up by completions of 50 yards from Douglas to Bowens and 15 yards to Chilton.
New Diana pulled to within two points at the 5:17 mark on a 10-yard run by Choyce, but the two-pointer failed and Ore City held on for the win.
Ore City is idle next week. New Diana will visit Daingerfield.
Prior to the game, it was announced that the contest, played between the two school located seven miles apart, will now be known as the Keith McKinley Highway 259 Rivalry. McKinley was a football, basketball and baseball coach at New Diana when he died at the age of 40 due to a heart attack. Prior to that, he also coached baseball and football at Ore City.