With one play, the comeback came crashing down.
Cardinal Mooney clipped Bishop Verot 23-20 Friday night as Demardre Patterson returned a kickoff 82 yards with only 2:08 remaining at the Vikings' Swanson Stadium.
Trailing 16-6 at the half, the Vikings (0-2) had clawed back to take their first lead on Justin Hutchins' 18-yard run with 2:18 left. An offsides penalty on the ensuing kickoff set up their downfall. On the rekick, Patterson broke free for the winning touchdown.
With that, Verot's four-game winning streak against Mooney came to a screeching halt.
"This one hurts. We all know that," Vikings coach Phil Dorn said. "We don't doubt anybody's heart, but we didn't do enough things right."
The second half was a story of Verot overcoming one frustration after another.
Jonah Owenby's 18-yard pass to DJ Oceant-Kelly in the end zone was broken up. Another drive ended when the Vikings came up short on fourth and 2 at the Cougars' 14.
Then things began to click. Quinn Farrell hit Hutchins on a 22-yard pass that set up Marc Krispinsky's one-yard TD. On another fourth-and-two, Oceant-Kelly got the first down by inches. Hutchins cashed in from 18 yard s.
Mooney (2-0) got on the board first, a 22-yard TD pass from Reese Vita to Elijah Toussaint.
Oceant-Kelly took a short pass and raced 82 yards to bring Verot within 7-6 early in the second quarter. The PAT was blocked.
The Cougars got a 39-yard field goal by Blake Young to lead 10-6.
Verot's Leslie Green fumbled to set up a short Mooney drive. Patterson scored on a seven-yard run and Young missed the extra point.
"Cardinal Mooney did some good things, but there were just too many mistakes early in the game and then late," Dorn said.
Bishop Verot is back at home next Friday against Naples.
Mooney 7 9 0 7 - 23
Bishop Verot 0 6 7 7 - 20
CM - Elijah Toussaint 22 pass from Reese Vita (Blake Young kick)
BV - DJ Oceant-Kelly 82 pass from Quinn Farrell (Jimmy Dwyer kick blocked)
CM - FG, Young 39
CM - Demardre Patterson 7 run (kick failed)
BV - Krispinsky 1 run (Dwyer kick)
BV - Hutchins 18 run (Dwyer kick)
CM - Patterson 82 kickoff return (Young kick)