The Choctaws nearly made the most of the opportunity.
With an outstanding effort from start to finish, the Choctaws led late in the contest before Cardinal quarterback Brady Stewart tossed a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. The score turned out to be the final touchdown of the game and of the season for Dyer County as the Choctaws fell 26-23.
"We didn't want our kids to have a bad memory in their last game on our field this season," said DC head coach Barry Kendall. "The loss was disappointing sure, but I thought our kids played as hard as they had all year long and we just came up a little short."
In attempting to pull off a mild upset over Brighton, the Choctaws looked to sophomore quarterback Ryan Incrocci to lead the team with starter Tucker Cozort out with a concussion.
Incrocci played well in his first start this season, completing 13-of-31 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown.
The passing game wasn't the problem for DC; the problem came in the inability to run the ball against a stingy defensive effort from the Cardinals. Overall, the Choctaws rushed for minus-42 yards bringing the total offensive numbers down to 136 yards.
In comparison, Brighton rolled up 344 yards of total offense that included a 24-of-41 passing performance from Stewart that resulted in 266 yards and two interceptions.
Senior Ky Wilson ended his high school career with a solid game on both sides of the ball. Wilson was on the receiving end of six Incrocci passes for 101 yards that included a 27-yard touchdown reception. Defensively, Wilson intercepted a Cardinal pass late in the first half and sprinted to pay dirt.
DC took the lead early in the contest when Hunter Stover intercepted Stewart at the Cardinal 4-yard line and walked into the end zone. The PAT failed and DC held a 6-0 lead with 3:26 left in the opening quarter.
The Cardinals added two touchdowns before the half and held a 20-9 lead before Wilson's 40-yard scamper on an interception. The senior also added a 2-point conversion as DC went to the half trailing by five, 20-15.
In the second half, the Choctaws' final score of the game came when Wilson scored on a 27-yard strike from Incrocci to take a 23-20 lead. Unfortunately for DC, Brighton answered in the fourth with a touchdown and held off the Choctaw rally to secure the 26-23 win.
"We went through a lot this year, but I said earlier in the season that I really loved my team," added Kendall. "We were in all but one game this season, and I think that in my first year as head coach we have a lot of positives to build on."