Clark touched the ball just once on that drive, but Moody did the heavy lifting. After he threw to Nick Humphrey for 12 yards to the St. Albans 2, he scored with two successive sneaks to put the Wildcats up 7-6. That was the halftime score.
With the first possession of the third quarter, the Wildcats used 12 plays to get to the St. Albans 13, where Alex White booted a 32-yard field goal for a 10-6 lead. After the teams traded three-and-outs, St. Albans' Taylor Clark was snuffed on an ill-advised fake punt to give Nitro the ball near midfield.
The Wildcats went three-and-out, though, and committed a facemask foul early in the Dragons possession. A few plays later, Kirby broke free for a 40-yard run, and the Dragons opted to go for two. When Taylor Clark, who relieved Reed for two fourth-quarter possessions, hit Kyle Boles, SA led 14-10 with 6:11 left.
Staring into yet another heartbreak, Nitro found itself staring at fourth-and-3 from its own 29. Ethan Clark kept the Wildcats alive, taking Moody's quick pass for 12 yards.
It was Clark's first touch in more than a quarter, as the Dragons tried to take him away in all phases.
"They were playing man-to-man on me, and they had a safety lined up over top of me, so it was going to be tough to get the catches I was supposed to get," he said. "But then the coaches put me in motion, let my legs do the work and just run the ball, make some things happen."
After a 6-yard pass to Ethan Clark, Moody survived what would have been an interception, but the ball just did slip from Boles' grasp. Moody regrouped to hit Ethan Clark for 14, then handed off to him on that celebrated inside sweep from the SA 39.
With that touchdown, Clark finished with 106 combined yards, 48 rushing on three attempts and 58 on six receptions. Brayden Underwood rushed 108 yards on 23 attempts, as the Wildcats hung tough with 328 total yards to SA's 374.
And they hung tough in withstanding Red Dragons' final attempt to strong-arm the game away. Now, the Wildcats' grim streak is gone.
"Eighteen and no more," Midkiff said.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.