MESQUITE — Van recovered four onside kicks in the third quarter to trim a 36-0 deficit down to 36-20.
Tyler Townley then tacked on his fifth touchdown pass of the night to help the unbeaten Caddo Mills Foxes pull out a 43-27 win over the Vandals in Class 4A Division II area round action Friday night at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
Van trailed Caddo Mills 29-0 at halftime and opened the second half with an onside kick. Manny Moore recovered for the Vandals. However, three plays later, Townley recorded his second defensive interception of the night.
That led to Tonwley finding Konner Pounds for a 26-yard touchdown pass to push the score to 36-0 with 6:57 left in the third quarter.
The Vandals then got on the board for the first time as Javonta Thomas scored on a 3-yard run with 3:53 on the clock to cut the score to 36-6.
The Vandals attempted another onside kick and recovered. Three plays later, Jackson Rainey found Luca Kozhev for an 18-yard touchdown to make the score 36-13 with 3:12 to play.
Another onside kick attempt by Van was recovered by the Vandals’ Moore — the third onside recovery by the Vandals in the quarter and second in a row.
That led to Thomas scoring on a 2-yard run to cut the score to 36-20 with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
Van once again lined up for an onside kick and once again came away with the football — No. 4 in the quarter.
Van got the ball down the Caddo Mills 6-yard line early in the fourth quarter looking to make it a one-possession game but was stopped on fourth down.
The Foxes responded with a 39-yard pass from Townley to Saldivar to make the score 43-20 with 7:18 remaining.
Van added a 3-yard touchdown run by Thomas to cut the score to 43-27 with 4:03 to play. This time, Caddo Mills’ Caden Lemmon leaped to secure the onside kick for the Foxes, who were unable to run out the remainder of the clock.
Caddo Mills (11-0) advances to face either Pleasant Grove or Nevada Community, which square off on Saturday.
Townley finished 13 of 19 through the air for 183 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 93 yards on 19 carries.
Townley had touchdown passes of 33, 9 and 11 yards to Gavyn Beane, Saldivar and Pounds in the first half. And Angus Aldridge had a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:22 left in the second quarter.
Thomas had 11 catches for 99 yards for Van (7-5). He also had three rushing touchdowns. Rainey was 24 of 37 for 264 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. Kozhev made six receptions for 86 yards and a score for Van, which had 18 of its 24 first downs in the second half.
Caddo Mills 43, Van 27
Van 0 0 20 7 — 27
Caddo Mills 8 21 7 7 — 43
CM — Gavyn Beane 33 pass to Tyler Townley (Angus Aldridge run), 7:49
CM — Jett Saldivar 9 pass from Townley (Jonah Rupe kick), 9:26
CM — Konner Pounds 9 pass from Townley (Rupe kick), 7:06
CM — Aldridge 68 INT return (Rupe kick), 1:22
CM — Pounds 26 pass from Townley (Rupe kick), 6:57
V — Javonta Thomas 3 run (Kick failed), 3:53
V — Luca Kozhev 18 pass from Jackson Rainey (Eli Hartman kick), 3:12
V — Thomas 2 run (Hartman kick), 2:06
CM — Saldivar 39 pass from Townley (Rupe kick), 7:18
V — Thomas 3 run (Hartman kick), 4:03
First Downs 24 25
Rushes-Yards 22-31 40-187
Passing Yards 274 183
Comp.-Att-Int. 25-38-3 13-19-0
Punts-Avg. 3-29.3 1-35
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 3-25 7-73
RUSHING — Van, Zion Dunn 2-14, Jackson Rainey 6-11, Manny Moore 4-9, Garrett Florey 2-1, Javonta Thomas 8-(-2). Caddo Mills, Tyler Tonwley 13-93, Konner Pounds 13-72, Adrian Baxter 6-21, Cayden Davis 1-10, Savion Neal 3-9, Caden Lemmon 1-(-3), Team 3-(-15).
PASSING — Van, Jackson Rainey, 24-37-3 264, Javonta Thomas 1-1-0 10. Caddo Mills, Tyler Townley 13-19-0 183.
RECEIVING — Van, Javonta Thomas 11-99, Luca Kozhev 6-86, Brayden Bradshaw 4-55, Austin Gregory 2-21, Garrett Florey 1-13, Jackson Rainey 1-10. Caddo Mills, Gavyn Beane 4-44, Jett Saldivar 3-66, Konner Pounds 3-37, Cayden Davis 1-29, Jake Tumey 1-6, Jason Thomason 1-1.