GHS beats Straughn in double overtime

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 14, 2001

Andalusia Star News

Losing is never easy, but it’s particularly tough when it comes in double overtime after a hard-fought battle in inclement weather conditions.

That was the bitter pill the No. 8-ranked Straughn Tigers had to swallow Friday night in a 21-28 loss to the Goshen Eagles.

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"I’ve got to give Goshen a lot of credit," Straughn Head Coach Trent Taylor said after the game. "They made the plays when they had to."

Likewise, Goshen Head Coach Joe Thornton praised Straughn.

"Straughn’s got a great team. That was a great football game, one of the best in my 10 short years of coaching," Thornton said. "It was great to get the opportunity to knock off a ranked team. My kids played with every ounce of heart they had."

The game opened in a torrential rainstorm with water standing on the field. Despite the conditions, Goshen marched toward the goal on their opening drive of the game and got on the scoreboard with a 48-yard run by senior Quce Burden. The PAT was good and Goshen had a 7-0 lead with 8:37 left in the first quarter.

Straughn succumbed to the wet conditions on their ensuing drive and fumbled, giving Goshen the ball on the 38-yard line.

Both defenses, however, shutdown the offenses throughout the remainder of the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, with rain still falling, both teams were plagued by fumbles. It was Goshen who paid the price for the turnovers when the Tiger defense sacked Quarterback Averick Rogers on the 15-yard line, forcing a fumble.

Straughn’s Dawanis Samuel recovered the loose ball and ran it in for a touchdown with 1:47 left in the half. The Goshen defense stuffed the extra point attempt and the score stood at 7-6, as the rain quit falling shortly before halftime break.

In the second half, Straughn’s defense held the Eagles to minimal yardage and a fumbled snap on a Goshen punt attempt gave Straughn exceptional field position on the 10-yard line.

On Straughn’s second down after the turnover, Bret Page ran it in for a touchdown from nine yards out. Then he ran it in for the two-point conversion, giving the Tigers a 7-14 edge with 9:23 left in the third quarter.

Both teams battled in the trenches through the remainder of the third quarter and opening minutes of the fourth until Straughn quarterback Justin Bracewell hurled a third-down, 40-yard pass that was intercepted by Goshen’s Jonathan Folmar. Goshen took over possession at the 38-yard line. Six plays later, Goshen found the end zone and tied the game 14-14 with 8:23 left in the game.

Although Straughn came within field goal range once late in the fourth quarter, neither team could up the ante before the clock ran out regulation sending the game into overtime.

Straughn got the first shot at the goal line from 10 yards out and penetrated the end zone on a second-down run by Page. Dusty Varner split the uprights and put Straughn up 21-14.

Goshen reciprocated with a 10-yard pass from Rogers to Folmar on fourth down and split the uprights to force the game into double overtime.

This time, Goshen got the first go at the goal line, and it appeared they would be unsuccessful as they attempted a field goal that missed. A penalty against Straughn, however, gave them a first-down on the one-yard line. Rogers successfully connected with Derrick Foster on a 15-yard, third-down pass for a score after a series of penalties against the Eagles. With another good PAT, the score was 28-21.

Straughn could not break the end zone in its next four downs, but went down fighting with an incomplete Bracewell-to-Page pass attempt on fourth down.

Straughn travels to Barbour County next week for a critical Class 2A, Region 3 game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.