Comets score late touchdown to overtake Bulldogs

White Hall's Jayden Smith picks up yards Friday night against Little Rock Mills. (Special to The Commercial/William Harvey)

LITTLE ROCK -- It took 3½ hours to decide a winner Friday night in a thriller in south Little Rock.

Mills defeated White Hall 31-27 with a touchdown in the final seconds.

Mills (5-0, 3-0 in 5A-Central) quarterback Achilles Ringo connected with Akyell Madison in the left side of the end zone with 12.5 seconds remaining. Jaylan Ento intercepted White Hall's Hail Mary attempt to clinch it.

White Hall (3-2, 2-1) led 27-16 with 6:03 to play following a nine-yard touchdown run by Kylon Davis. The Comets scored two plays later, got a fourth down stop at their own 33, then drove down field to win it.

Ringo completed 20 of 36 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

Bulldogs quarterback Noah Smith completed 8 of 13 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Running back Jayden Smith carried the ball 24 times for 167 yards and a touchdown.

White Hall led 14-6 at halftime. Chauncey Haynes kickstarted the Mills comeback with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter, cutting the Bulldogs' lead to 14-13. Ricardo Gayton later put Mills in front with a 27-yard field goal.

Two Bulldogs touchdowns put White Hall back in front 27-16, but the Comets made key plays in the fourth quarter to win in comeback fashion.

The teams combined for 28 penalties before halftime.

One of the more impactful penalties of the first half led to a White Hall touchdown. The Bulldogs were set to punt on fourth down and six from the Mills 45-yard line, but a flag on the Comets' bench made it fourth and one. Jayden Smith easily picked up the first down.

Smith appeared to break free for a touchdown on the next play, but it was called back for holding. Chris Joe got White Hall to the 15 with a 32-yard catch, and a personal foul call on Mills made it first and goal from the seven-yard line. Two plays later, Jayden Smith scored from the one to make it 14-0.

Mills scored on its next drive when Charleston Collins punched it in from the one-yard line after a 49-yard catch by Madison. Mills decided to go for two after White Hall was called offsides on the extra point, but the Bulldogs stuffed the run to keep the score 14-6.

Kyen Weston intercepted a deep pass on Mills' next drive, the first interception the Comets have thrown this season, ensuring the Bulldogs' lead stood at halftime. Weston intercepted the first Mills pass of the second half, as well.