Huskies win a thriller in 3OT
CADIZ – Every now and then a game comes along that will be cemented in the memory banks forever.
One of them took place Friday night at Wagner Field.
A plethora of Harrison Central defenders stuffed a 2-point conversion run at the goal line during the third overtime to preserve a thrilling 49-47 Homecoming night triumph against Edison.
”What a great high school game,” Huskies head coach Justin Kropka said moments after receiving plenty of congratulatory handshakes.
”I kept telling our kids that we’d had plenty of bad breaks go against us this year with this, that and the other and just told them to keep plugging away.
”I told them that one of those games would work out somewhere and it happened (Friday).”
Harrison Central (3-4) scored 13 points during the final 7:04 of regulation to get the game to overtime and then was able to keep pace with the Wildcats (4-3) in a nailbiter that had everyone in the stadium on the edge of their seats.
”I’ve been in a few games like this and it’s a shame there has to be a loser,” Edison head coach Derrick Stickles said. ”Unfortunately, we were on the losing end of this.
”It hurts. The hardest ones to lose are the ones you lose by two points.”
The teams headed into the third overtime tied at 41-41 and the Huskies had the ball first.
On the first play, quarterback David Miser dropped back and found a wide open Nate Olmstead in the end zone for a touchdown that made the score 47-41.
Miser and Olmstead hooked up on the 2-point conversion to make the score 49-41.
It didn’t take the Wildcats long to strike back.
On the first play of their possession, quarterback Nolan Marcus ran virtually untouched up the middle for a 20-yard TD that made the score 49-47.
But after allowing nearly 300 yards rushing, the Huskies defense stood tall when it had to.
”We made the one stop we had to have that’s for sure,” Kropka said smiling.
”It just makes me proud as a guy that’s been here a long time that these are kids we are raising and putting on the field. I’d have been proud of them if the score had been flipped.”
Miser scored on a 1-yard run to give Harrison the lead in the first OT before Rich Springer evened things up by hauling in a 2-yard pass from Marcus. Both teams converted 2-point conversions.
Devan Tennant hauled in a 20-yard strike from Marcus to give the Wildcats an 41-35 upperhand in the second OT. Nate Maykowski’s 4-yard scamper was the equalizer for the Huskies. Neither team was able to convert a conversion in the second OT.
The Huskies turned the ball over on its first four possessions of the second half.
The fourth resulted in a 48-yard fumble return by Evan Shannon that gave Edison a 27-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
That score came 58 seconds after Marcus scored from 1 yard out on the first play of the fourth quarter. That play capped a 10-play drive, of which Marcus carried the ball on four of the final five plays.
Shannon had a big night, rushing for 210 yards on 30 carries.
”We certainly had the momentum going into the fourth quarter,” Stickles said. ”We were excited and our kids were excited.”
Undaunted, Harrison Central came right back down the field and reached the end zone on an 8-yard strike from Miser to Dalton Rutter that trimmed the lead to 27-21 with 7:04 left.
On the night, the duo combined 12 times for 142 yards and two TDs.
The Huskies got the ball back with 4:56 left and drove 80 yards in 11 plays to tie the game at 27-27 when Miser found Olmstead near the back of the end zone. Geoff Pecar’s extra-point failed and the game headed to overtime.
”This is certainly a confidence builder for us,” Kropka said. ”But we have to move on and get ready for Bellaire next week.”
Paige Dunlap chose the odd-colored rose at halftime to become the 2013 Homecoming Queen. The King will be announced during festivities tonight.
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org