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Cavs take Glass in gridiron thriller

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Triple overtime win at City Stadium

By Mike Forster

 

 

 

E.C. Glass had an auspicious entry into the Seminole District last Friday night.

The Hilltoppers went toe-to-toe with Jefferson Forest before falling to the Cavs in the third overtime series, 31-28.

“That’s the best 0-5 team in the state,” remarked Cav team captain Andrew Brown, obviously pleased for his team to have escaped with the win.

Nobody, and we mean nobody, was more pleased than kicker Dylan Sims. 

The sophomore kicker booted a 19-yard field goal in that third stanza, locking down the victory at City Stadium.

Sims proved his mettle throughout the game, hitting a pair of field goals to put the Cavs up 6-0.

In overtime, he hit two pressure-packed extra points.  A miss would have doomed the Cavs to defeat.

“Triple overtime, baby!” said JF Head Coach Don Rice after the game.  “It doesn’t matter how you win.  We could have punched it in (on the last series), but we believe in Dylan and wanted to give him a shot.”

Sims didn’t disappoint, though he had just seen his counterpart, Glass kicker Jake Prest, have his field goal attempt partially blocked and the ball carom off the crossbar.

As a result, Glass came away with nothing on that third OT session.

Credit the JF defense for that blanking.  Chip Taylor stuffed a run on first down.

Marcus Jones, Jeff Brown and Mikey Wallman stopped the next run after a gain of three yards.  

Wallman and Andrew Brown teamed up to stop Glass quarterback James Gaines well short of the end zone.

On fourth down, the snap to holder Logan Collins was high.  Collins did an admirable job of getting the ball down, but the timing was thrown off and JF’s Colby Rhodes broke in enough to get a hand on the ball.

That third overtime period was set up when both teams scored in the previous sessions.  

In OT #1, Hunter Hannell hit Harrison Loy with a fade pass in the corner of the end zone.  Loy, who had been facing one way, turned and twisted to adapt to the throw.  The senior made the grab over Glass defender Bashime Simmons.

The Hilltoppers struck back, when Gaines hit Joe Wertz with a bullet, as Wertz slid through the end zone.

That made it 21-21.

In OT #2, Glass went first, scoring when Gaines rifled a pass into Demitrius Garland’s hands.  Or was it in Loy’s hands.  For a split second, the two wrestled with the ball, but Garland had the position advantage and succeeded in pulling it away.

Not to worry.  Rashad Hall jetted five yards to his right, diving with the outstretched ball to just break the plane and make it 28-28.

That set the stage for OT #3 and Sims’s game winner.

Game notes

-Hall was a workhorse.  Of JF’s 64 plays from scrimmage, he carried it 42 times.  That’s 66%.  He compiled 214 yards, for an average of 5.1 yards per carry.  For the season, he has 664 yards.

-After Jeff Brown’s nine-yard run made it 12-7, the Cavs opted to go for two.  Hannell found Ryan Gingrich in the right corner of the end zone.  The completed pass made it 14-7.  Glass’s subsequent touchdown, and Prest’s one-pointer, would have won the game for the Hilltoppers, absent that two-point conversion.

-JF did a nice job of stopping the run, giving up less than 30 yards on 29 carries by Glass.

-Hannell had modest numbers (4-for-8, 60 yards passing), except where it counted:  That two-point conversion and the strike to Loy were huge.

-This was the fourth version of the Black and Blue Bowl.  The three-point win was a blowout, relatively speaking.  The teams were separated by a total of two points over the previous three matches.