Lake Worth junior Kamron Kimble had carved the Castleberry defense for two long touchdown runs and a scoring catch.
So, when the Lions desperately needed to stop Kimble in his tracks in a one-point game late in the fourth quarter Friday night, senior defensive back Matthew Teran tackled Kimble behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth-down running play to the right.
Teran’s tackle forced a turnover on downs and Castleberry proceeded to run out a thrilling 42-41 win over Lake Worth in the Battle of 820 at W.O. Barnes Stadium.
It was a fitting end to a wild fourth quarter that saw four touchdowns scored between the two squads in a span of 1:59, the last of which came on a 52-yard pass play between quarterback Isaiah Hill and Mark Fulkerson, only to see the subsequent PAT kick sail wide left, as Castleberry clung to a 42-41 lead.
Lions quarterback Drew Aguillon threw for touchdown passes of 69 yards and 65 during in that span only to be helped off the field with six minutes with a gruesome left-knee injury. He had to be helped off the field and was seen on crutches postgame. That injury ended a night in which the Castleberry junior threw for 383 yards and five touchdowns on 17-of-24 passing.
Lonnie Adams took over under center for Aguillon and drove Castleberry to the Lake Worth 2 only to have two penalties and a fumble that was recovered by Bullfrog junior Antonio Valdez on a reverse. He was having a big night at wide receiver before Aguillon’s injury forced him to move to quarterback. Adams caught nine passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
Lake Worth got the ball back with 2:30 remaining in regulation after Valdez’s fumble recovery and moved to the Castleberry 45 before Teran’s tackle on Kimble iced the fifth win of the season for the Lions (5-2, 2-1 District 6-4A Division 2).
Kimble forced a multitude of missed tackles on his way to 193 rushing yards on 13 carries and added six catches for 71 yards with three total touchdowns. Lake Worth fell to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in district play with the loss.
Kimble helped the Bullfrogs keep pace with the Lions with two first-half TDs, his first coming on a 61-yard burst around the left end, giving his squad a 7-0 lead after Israel Cardenas’ extra-point kick with 1:23 left in the first quarter. That score was set up by an Adrian Frias fumble recovery on a Lake Worth strip sack of Aguillon with the Lions facing fourth and 8 from the Bullfrog 22.
Castleberry responded with an 18-point second quarter explosion with two of the three Lion touchdowns coming on methodical drives of at least 11 plays.
Jason Garcia ran from 2 yards out to complete a 13-play drive that consumed just 3:28 of game clock to get Castleberry on the board. Following a three-and-out for Lake Worth, Diego Rivera caught a 13-yard pass on a slant route from Aguillon to give the Lions their first lead at 12-7.
Rivera had five receptions on the night, three of which went for touchdowns, for 155 yards.
Kimble continued his sizzling first half on offense for Lake Worth with an incredible 24-yard catch in the back of the end zone on a pass from Isaiah Hall with the Bullfrogs facing fourth and goal to restore a 15-12 lead.
In a penalty-filled second quarter that featured eight flags, Castleberry had good chemistry going between Aguillon and Adams, the final connection of which resulted in Adams dragging his feet inbounds in the end zone for a 7-yard TD catch with 36.5 seconds remaining in the first half, for an 18-15 Lions’ lead.
Lake Worth held its last lead at 25-21 following a Cardenas 25-yard field goal with 4:23 left in the third quarter.