Kaufman Lions quarterback, Derek Clamon (left) hands the ball off to Braxton Garmon (right) to run around the Crandall Pirate’s defensive line to gain yards for the Lions.

Winning in such an exhilarating – yet heart-stopping – manner each week is becoming a commonplace experience for this Kaufman Lion football team. 

It's just the way they do it. 

Thanks to quarterback Derek Clamon’s four-yard touchdown run with 36 seconds left, the Kaufman Lion football team was able to defeat the Crandall Pirates in a memorable rivalry game by the count of 32-27 on Sept. 3.

With this emotional victory, Kaufman improves to 2-0 on the season while Crandall falls to 1-1.

"We are so proud of our guys and the way that they find a way to get it done,” Kaufman’s Head Football Coach Jeramy Burleson said. “I am very thankful for the bunch of guys that we have and how much fun they are to coach.”

The winning touchdown drive for Kaufman was set up with 2:57 left, after Crandall had scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Jamonte Gordon-West to Luke Moffitt. This touchdown gave Crandall a 27-26 advantage and their first leading score of the game. It was also part of a second-half stretch of touchdowns where Crandall scored 20 straight points to erase a 26-7 Kaufman half time lead.     

To answer back, Kaufman got a huge spark when RaikYuviun Shaw returned the ensuing kickoff down to Crandall’s 21-yard line. During this kickoff return, Shaw almost went all the way for the touchdown, but the Crandall kicker got enough of Shaw to push him out of bounds. From there, it took the Lions just four plays to reach the end zone, including Clamon's touchdown run.

After the Lions scored to retake the lead, Crandall had one final shot in the last few seconds of the game, but their desperate last chance was shut down by Kaufman, and the Lions secured a huge victory and winning start for the season.

“Well it was another nail biter," Burleson said. “It is always good to win and be 2-0, but it is especially good to beat your rival that resides just 10 minutes away. The Kaufman Lions have proved now two weeks in a row that they will fight until the clock strikes zero."

Individually, Kaufman was led offensively in this game by Clamon, who had 11 carries for 41 yards and two touchdowns, while going nine of 18 passing for 81 yards and two touchdowns.

Daylon Dickerson made five receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns, while Braxton Garmon  had 10 carries for 78 yards. Juan Resendiz made 12 carries for 72 yards, coming off the bench to make a major impact on this game in the second half. He had several strong runs that gave some much-needed life to the Kaufman offense in the second half. 

Meanwhile, Crandall made some defensive adjustments in the second half and they worked well, shutting down the Kaufman offense and sparking their second half rally.

Before the winning touchdown drive by Kaufman, the Pirates had swashbuckled their way to the lead in the second half thanks to a three-yard touchdown run by Chris Abron, a three-yard touchdown run by Andrew Anderson, and the previously mentioned Gordon-West to Moffitt touchdown pass. 

Overall, Crandall really controlled the action in the second half. The Pirates are a tremendously talented football team at the skill positions. They proved that they are hard to stop when they have all the pistons firing.

“Crandall is a very good football team, and they are coached very well,” Burleson said. “When we went up early, they could have laid down, but they didn’t and they ended up taking the lead in the fourth quarter.”

Play by Play

In the first half, Kaufman dominated on both sides of the football.  

The Lions scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the game via a 27-yard touchdown pass from Clamon to Dickerson. On the scoring play, Dickerson out-jumped two Crandall defenders to catch the football. That made the score 7-0 in favor of Kaufman at the 7:57 mark of the first quarter. This drive covered 63 yards in eight plays.

Then on Crandall’s first drive of the game, the Pirates had a pass tipped up into the air and it was intercepted by Kaufman’s Gomez. After Gomez intercepted the pass, he proceeded to take the football all the way back to the end zone for another Kaufman touchdown.  This big defensive play gave Kaufman a 14-0 lead at the 7:41 mark of the first quarter. 

Crandall answered back on their next possession. 

After a huge kickoff return gave Crandall possession of the football at Kaufman’s 21-yard line, the Pirates used just three plays to get on the scoreboard. The touchdown came on an 18-yard run by Abron. So, now the score stood at 14-7 at the 6:22 mark of the first quarter. 

Late in the first quarter after a Crandall punt and a nice return, the Lions took over the football at Crandall’s 37-yard line. From there, the Lions needed some six plays to score another touchdown. The touchdown came on a six-yard pass from Clamon to Dickerson again. On the scoring play, Clamon and Dickerson used their favorite pass-a fade to the back corner of the end zone where Dickerson can use his tremendous jumping ability to catch the football.   After this score which came on a fourth down sequence,, Kaufman led 20-7 at the 10:57 mark of the second quarter. 

The score stayed at 20-7 until late in the first half, when Kaufman began another scoring drive. After a Crandall punt, Kaufman marched 45 yards in 10 plays to find the end zone again. The touchdown came on a three-yard touchdown run by Clamon. 

Defensively, in the first half, Kaufman did a great job of pressuring the quarterback and swarming to the football. The Lions were led defensively by Carlos Ramirez, Jordan Nalls, and Kyndall Trudeau to name a few. These three Lion players seemed to be all over the field and always around the football in the first half. 

“Against Lindale and now Crandall, our defense has made stops at the end of the first halves and at the end of each game to seal the victories," Burleson said. 

At half time, Kaufman led 26-7. 

This was definitely a game that was worth the price of admission. Both teams battled hard, but in the end, Kaufman was the one standing in the glow of victory. 

“We want to thank the moms for decorating and encouraging us each week’,” Burleson said. “We also want to say thank you to the student section for keeping it rowdy when we needed it.”

For the game, Kaufman gained 297 total yards (216 rushing and 81 passing).

But in the final 2:57, Kaufman had the ultimate final say in this rivalry game which wasn't played in 2020. Crandall shellacked the Lions in 2019, winning 48-0 in their first victory against Kaufman in 13 years. 

Next Friday, Kaufman will play host to Sulphur Springs, while Crandall will be at home as well versus Alvarado on Sept. 10. 

Kaufman: 27-yard touchdown pass from Derek Clamon to Daylon Dickerson (Andres Gallegos PAT Good)

Kaufman: 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brayson Gomez (Andres Gallegos PAT Good)

Crandall: 18-yad touchdown run by Chris Abron (PAT Good)

Kaufman: 6-yard touchdown pass from Clamon to Dickerson (PAT No Good)

Kaufman: 3-yard TD Run by Clamon (PAT No Good) 

Crandall: 3-yard touchdown by Chris Abron (two-point conversion attempt successful)

Crandall: 3-yard touchdown run by Andrew Anderson (Two-point conversion attempt no good

Crandall 45-yard touchdown pass from Jamonte Gordon West to Luke Moffitt (Two Point Conversion attempt no good)

Kaufman: 4-yard touchdown run by Clamon (two-point conversion attempt no good)

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