KAHOKA, Mo. -- Bryce Wilson felt some tension as the West Hancock football team's lead whittled from 20 points down to one score.
For a second, he was reminded of the last time the Titans loss.
"That definitely played a factor in our head," said Wilson, a junior running back for the Titans. "With things like last year against (Champaign) St. Thomas More. We didn't want that to happen."
In that game, the Titans saw their season end with a Hail Mary in the final minute of a first-round Class 2A playoff game.
Friday night, West Hancock didn't allow a repeat.
After Clark County running back Spencer Gregory scored on a 6-yard run with 1 minute, 28 seconds remaining in regulation, West Hancock's Chase Hartweg recovered the ensuing onside kick to thwart the Indians' comeback bid and secure a 32-26 victory.
It was relief for West Hancock, ranked No. 4 in Class 2A.
"We've had issues with that in the past where we've had 16-point leads and let teams come back on us," West Hancock coach Travis Cook said. "I don't know if the kids are getting complacent, but we have to do a better job as a coaching staff of coaching our kids to play in those types of games."
That means closing out ball games.
Wilson scored West Hancock's final touchdown when he burst up the middle for a 54-yard score with 1:06 remaining in the third quarter, giving the Titans (3-0) a 32-12 advantage. The Indians (1-3) answered with a 13-play, 70-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 10-yard run by quarterback London Brunk that trimmed the deficit to 32-20 with 9:46 to play.
West Hancock punted on its next two series, and Clark County answered with Gregory's run.
"Our kids were playing with a sense of urgency, and I wish we could of played with that earlier in the game," Clark County coach Ethan Allen said. "That second half, gosh, what we wanted to do we did."
Most of that was by Brunk.
The junior threw for 246 yards on 24-for-33 passing with a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown. Clark County amassed 357 yards of offense.
Brunk's best past came on a fourth and 24 on the Indians' final drive. Brunk hit wide receiver Zeb Riney on a flood route for a 25-yard gain to keep the drive alive.
"That was hard to cover," West Hancock's Riley Langford said. "The kid just made a good catch and a good play."
Langford, however, had a catch that stole a touchdown from Clark County. Late in the second quarter, Langford made a one-handed interception on a pass intended for Riney in the end zone as the Titans went to halftime up 16-12.
"I got my hand on it and tipped it and brought it back in," Langford said. "It was a really important play to end the half."
West Hancock's trio of Langford, Wilson and Hartweg combined to rush for 401 yards. Wilson led the Titans with 189 yards on 21 carries and had touchdown runs of 4 and 54 yards.
"We know we can give the ball to anyone at any point and we'll have success," Wilson said. "We believe we can take on anyone."
West Hancock 32, Clark County 26
16 First downs 21
54-408 Rushes-yards 34-111
0 Passing yards 246
408 Total yards 357
0-0-0 Comp-Att-Int 24-33-1
1-1 Fumbles-lost 1-1
16-110 Penalties-yards 9-70
West Hancock 8 8 16 0--32
Clark County 12 0 0 14–26
C--Chayson Kleine 1 run (run failed), 10:17
W--Riley Langford 2 run (Bryce Buckert run), 4:08
C--Dalton Albert 36 pass from London Brunk (pass failed), 0:42
W--Bryce Wilson 4 run (Chase Hartweg run), 3:01
W--Buckert 1 run (Langford run), 5:26
W--Wilson 54 run (Buckert pass), 1:06
C--Brunk 10 run (Brunk pass), 9:46
C--Spencer Gregory 6 run (run failed), 1:28
RUSHING--West Hancock, Bryce Wilson 21-189, Riley Langford 17-113, Chase Hartweg 11-99, Bryce Buckert 5-7, Clark County, Spencer Gregory 15-58, Garrett Brammer 5-29, Chayson Kleine 4-17, Brunk 10-7.
PASSING--Clark County, Brunk 24-33-246-1.
RECEIVING--Clark County, Zeb Riney 8-90, Dalton Albert 5-64, Gregory 3-33, Caleb Lapsley 4-22, Logan Claiborne 4-40, Joe Crowell 1-4.