WCMS football falls 46-40 in triple overtime
Posted By Sparta Live | August 30, 2012 12:00 am
The game between White County Middle School and Franklin County’s North Middle School had been billed as a game to watch and it did not disappoint in that aspect.
The only thing that disappointed was that after playing through four quarters and three overtimes of action, the junior Warriors had to make the long ride home to Sparta after coming up on the short end of the 46-40 score. The loss was the first of the season for WCMS, who fell to 2-1 overall and are now even at 1-1 in Central Tennessee Conference action.
The two teams pretty much matched each other big play for big play throughout the game. However, in the end, the Warriors came up just one play short.
WCMS Luke Dycus talked about the thriller, “We played our hearts out! As Coach Roy Sewell used to say, ‘We played like Warriors!’ Our kids played with a lot of heart. The kids did everything I asked them to do. I got out of our packages that were working and it bit me on the nose. The loss is my fault. North has a great team and they deserve to win. Gotta give credit where credit is due. They played well and they are coached well. North is a class act. I wish them good luck the rest of the year.”
The first two series of the game set the tone for what laid ahead in the contest. The teams would score on every possession in the first half except for the final one. Middle school teams play eight-minute quarters.
The Warriors took the ball first and drove straight to the end zone. The seven-play drive covered 43 yards and culminated with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Pierce Whited to Logan Swoape on fourth down. The two-point conversion was stopped short, but with 4:11 left in the first quarter, the Warriors had taken the 6-0 lead.
North answered that drive with a six-play drive that covered 60 yards. The payoff came on a 37-yard touchdown pass on a fourth and ten. Their two-point conversion run was good and with just five ticks left on the clock in the first quarter, the Gators led 8-6.
The lead lasted for as long as it took WCMS to put together their next scoring drive. This time the Warriors went 68 yards in nine plays. The points went on the board when Chris Richmond plunged in from four yards out. A 15-yard horse collar penalty on the first play of the series jump-started the drive. Another key play on the drive was a 15-yard hook up between Whited and Swoape. A 13-yard run by Saylor Wilson set up Richmond’s touchdown. Wilson also added the two-point conversion giving WCMS the 14-8 lead with 4:25 to go before the half.
Five plays and two minutes later, the Gators tied the score. They scored on a 20-yard run with 2:21 left. The two-point conversion was stopped short leaving the score tied at 14.
The Warriors made good use of the time left before the intermission. They covered 70 yards in six plays and left six seconds on the clock. The drive opened with three straight runs by Jake Shockey, the second of which went for 20 yards. Shockey would have to leave the game later in the game with what was believed to be a broken collarbone.
Following the runs by Shockey, a 14 yard run by Trenton Hodges had the Warriors across midfield. Then Hodges threw to Swoape for 27 yards on the halfback pass. That set up the 15-yard touchdown pass from Whited to Swoape. Richmond added the two-point conversion giving the Warriors the 22-14 advantage.
North had time for one pass before the half ended. Trey Brewington kept the Warrior lead intact when he broke up the pass.
The Gators opened the second half with the ball and picked up right where the teams left off. They started the scoring with a six-play drive that covered 46 yards. The payoff came on a 28-yard run that saw the North runner break free from a pack of Warrior tacklers for the scamper to the end zone. The two-point conversion was good and with 4:59 left in the third quarter, the score was tied at 22.
The only punt of the game came on the next Warrior series. Facing a fourth and one, a penalty made it fourth and six and Dycus brought on punter, Zack Lynn. His 31-yard punt backed the Gators up to their own 28-yard line, but it took only two plays for them to cover the ground to the end zone. They opened with a 12-yard run and then scored on a 6-yard quarterback keeper around the end. The two-point conversion was no good, but the Gators had taken the 28-22 lead with 2:03 left in the third quarter.
The teams traded turnovers on the next two possessions. Chris Richmond got the ball back for the Warriors with his recovery at the 21-yard line with 7:01 left in the contest.
WCMS was able to put together a 79-yard scoring drive. Shockey opened the series with a 14-yard run and then added another first down on a 15-yard penalty on the Gators. He went for two yards on the next play, but then had to leave with his shoulder injury. Wilson followed with a four straight runs, the longest of which went 12 yards. Those runs set up a quick strike from Whited to Brewington for the 35-yard touchdown with 3:51 left in the contest. The two-point conversion was no good, but the score was knotted at 28.
The Warriors got the ball right back when the Gators bobbled Lynn’s kick off. Kendrick Leftwich fell on the ball and the Warriors had possession at the 37 with 3:47 to play. Wilson went for runs of three and nine yards for the initial first down. Facing a fourth and short inside the 20, the Warriors went for the keeper up the middle. Somewhere in the pile pushing forward, the Gators wrestled the ball loose and took possession with 1:27 to go at their own 15-yard line.
They broke a big play to start the drive scampering for 39 yards. Swoape made the touchdown saving tackle. The defense held from there and forced the Gators to turn the ball over on downs with eight seconds to go. That set up the overtime.
In middle school football, each team gets the ball at the 10-yard line.
The Warriors went on offense first to start the overtime and all it took was one play. Wilson did the honors with the 10-yard run. The two-point conversion was ruled no good even though it appeared Wilson crossed the plane of the end zone before the ball came loose when he hit the ground.
It took the Gators three plays on their series. They scored from three yards out and appeared to be headed for the two-point conversion, but Lynn blasted through and held the runner short of the end zone forcing the second overtime.
This time, the Gators were on offense first and scored from six yards out on the second play. The two-point conversion was no good.
Even with a five-yard penalty against the Gators on the first play, the Warriors needed all four plays on their series. Wilson scored from one yard out. Their two-point conversion was stopped short and the teams headed into the third overtime tied at 40.
Three was definitely not the charm for the Warriors. They went backwards on this drive and wound up facing a fourth and goal from the 21. A sack left the defense having to keep the Gators out of the end zone. North scored from seven yards out on the second play ending the game with the 46-40 win.
The Jr. Warriors will return to action Tuesday, September 4th, when they host Tullahoma at 6:30 p.m. in another CTC match-up.