Late field goal lifts Tallassee over CHHSPublished 2:10am Saturday, September 15, 2012
Nic Mullins drilled a 45-yard field goal as time expired to lift Tallassee High School to a 17-14 victory over Charles Henderson High School at Veterans Memorial Stadium Friday night.
With the game knotted 14-14, Tallassee (3-0, 2-0) took over at its own 25 with just 57 seconds left in the contest. Herman McKenzie found some room around Charles Henderson’s (1-2, 0-2) left end and raced for 29 yards on the first play of the series. Quarterback Jed Carter then scrambled for 18 more on the next play to the Trojans 28-yard line to set up Mullins game-winner.
“We got lucky there at the end, but Jed pulled it down and scrambled to get us in position,” Tallassee head coach Mike Battles said. “Nic nailed it right down the middle. You can’t draw them up any better than that.”
There was a bit of controversy on the game’s final play. Carter was chased out of bounds on his 18-yard run. The officials, however, spotted the ball on the college hash marks that line the home field for Troy University. The high school marks, which are two yards wider and make for a different angle for the kicker, are temporarily painted on the field each game.
“It doesn’t matter. The game is over and we made the field goal,” Battles said after the game. “There’s going to be controversy after every game.”
Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean said he noticed the error and attempted to call a timeout, but it was not granted before the play. Dean didn’t use it as an excuse after the game, saying instead his team shouldn’t have allowed the situation to occur in the first place.
“It gets down to No.1, we’ve got to stay in our passing lanes,” he said. “It should have never got to that situation because we are making mistakes that are killing us.”
Tallassee dominated both lines the entire game. The Tigers rushed for 277 yards while hold Charles Henderson to just 49 on the ground.
McKenzie finished with 151 yards on 25 carries for Tallassee. Paschal hauled in five passes for 42 yards.
“I’m happy for our team because the question has been whether we can beat a good football team or not. Well, we beat a good football team tonight,” Battles said. “I’m proud of our kids. They deserved it, they’ve worked hard.”
Tallassee started the opening drive at its own 23-yard line and quickly marched the 67 yards to the end zone to take an early 7-0 lead. The Tigers converted on fourth and nine when Carter found DiJon Paschal in the flats on a play-action. McKenzie would later punch it in for Tallassee on a 1-yard run.
The Tigers would strike again with 4:28 left in the second quarter when Paschal took the handoff on a speed sweep and raced 15 yards to put Tallassee ahead 14-0.
Charles Henderson answered on the ensuing drive as quarterback Austin Ingram connected on three of four pass attempts capped by a 44-yard connection to Kenyatte Jones for a touchdown. With the extra point, Tallassee’s lead was cut in half, 14-7.
The teams traded punts in the third quarter before the Trojans tied the game with 8:22 left in the fourth. Ingram found Jones for a 27-yard completion to the Tigers 6-yard line. Two plays later, Ingram scored on a 2-yard run.
For the Trojans, Ingram was 15-for-31 passing for 180 yards. Jones had 6 catches for 49 yards.
The game would be a battle of punts and field position until Mullins game-winner.
Tallassee will host Headland next week in a Class 4A Region 2 battle. Charles Henderson will travel to face region foe Alabama Christian.