Historic victory for Eagles
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 10, 2004 9:50 AM
An opportunity to make history.
Veteran Rosewood football coach Daniel Barrow offered that statement as encouragement to his team before Friday evening's kickoff against perennial power Farmville Central.
The Eagles listened ... and listened well.
Senior quarterback Danny Langston threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Dustin Overman, sparking Rosewood to a thrilling 31-30 victory against Farmville Central at Branch Pope Field. The Eagles beat the Jaguars for the first time in school history and snapped their 15-game unbeaten streak in Class 1-A Carolina Conference play.
"It was a great football game for the fans," Barrow said.
The Eagles, who built a 24-point first-half lead only to see it slip away in the third quarter, experienced another harrowing finish. Jaguar quarterback Brandon Austin threw three third-quarter touchdowns, staking Farmville Central to a 30-24 lead heading into the final period.
A questionable interception call set up the go-ahead touchdown. Langston rolled out and fired a pass to Brandon Daw near the Eagles' bench. A sliding Daw missed the ball, which hit the ground and popped up in the air.
Rosewood thought the play had ended, but a Jaguar player caught the ball in mid-flight and returned it to the Eagle 25-yard line. Barrow and his defensive coordinator argued the call, saying it hit the ground, but the sideline official ruled otherwise.
Farmville Central (2-5, 1-1 CC) cashed in on Austin's five-yard pass to Kajon Farrow. The Jaguars missed the two-point conversion.
"They have a no-die attitude also, so we knew they'd come roaring back," Barrow said. "We just didn't want them to come roaring back as hard as they did. I'm proud of how our guys responded."
The Eagle defense showed its flexibility in the final quarter, but came up with two big plays.
Junior linebacker Zach Hardison sacked Austin to stall one Jaguar drive. Then, on a fourth-and-inches play inside Rosewood territory, Austin handed off to Quintrell Cotton. Senior cornerback Jeremy Reusch met Cotton head on and dropped him for no gain.
"I thought the defense really played well tonight when they had to," Barrow said. "This team has tremendous resiliency, a no-quit attitude and they fight fiercely all the time."
And, like last week against North Johnston, the Eagles executed perfectly on their game-winning drive.
Farmville Central crowded the tight-end side throughout the second half, so Rosewood's coaching staff made a slight adjustment. They began running toward the weak side in their no-huddle, misdirection offense, and it reduced the Jaguars' chance of putting the correct personnel on the field.
Langston masterfully orchestrated a nine-play, 56-play drive that took 3:10 to complete. Langston's six-yard touchdown pass -- his 17th of the season -- to Overman clinched the comeback and Brandon Hietpas' PAT sealed the Eagles' biggest victory of the year.
"It was just misdirect power football, and we didn't tackle well tonight," Jaguars coach Dixon Sauls said of the game-winning drive. "We beat ourselves with too many errors (in the first half) and they're too good of a team to give them anything.
"They played great so give them credit. Coach Barrow is a wonderful person. We enjoy competing against them and we'd knew we'd have to play until the last play, which we did."
Rosewood earned its second win of the season at home and third overall in eight outings. Derrick Bennett emerged the top rusher with 100 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run in the first period. Langston completed 8 of passes 11 for 135 yards to three different receivers.
Farmville Central endured just its second Carolina loss in 20 games since joining the league in 2001.
"I told the guys every team leaves its own mark and tonight you guys can make a little history, do what no one else has done here," Barrow said.
Farm. Central 0 8 22 0 -- 30
Rosewood 9 15 0 7 -- 31
R -- Overman 68 pass from Langston (Hietpas kick), 10:37
R -- Safety, 8:29
R -- Bennett 64 run (Butler run), 5:27
R -- Grey 6 pass from Langston (Hietpas kick), 5:02
FC -- Cotton 1 run (Foskey pass from Austin), 0:26.8
FC -- Davis 2 run (Cotton pass from Austin), 6:26
FC -- Cotton 62 pass from Austin (Davis pass from Austin), 3:24
FC -- Farrow 5 pass from Austin (pass failed), 0:17.5
R -- Overman 6 pass from Langston (Hietpas kick), 0:40.4
F. Central RHS
First downs 13 14
Rushes-yds 35-94 47-187
Passing yds 211 135
Total yards 305 322
Att.-Comp.-Int. 22-12-1 11-8-1
Fumbles-lost 2-2 5-3
Punts-avg. 4-32.8 4-26.3
Penalties-yds. 5-56 5-38
RUSHING -- Farmville Central -- Darrell Davis 13-50, TD; Brandon Austin 9-49; Quintrell Cotton 10-32, TD; Jesse Mercer 1-(-1); Torrey Prayer 1-(-1); Team 1-(-35). Rosewood -- Derrick Bennett 6-100, TD; James Reusch 11-48; Montrell Horton 7-27; Ronnie Butler 13-21; Danny Langston 10-(-9).
PASSING -- Farmville Central -- Brandon Austin 12-22-1 211, 2 TDs. Rosewood -- Danny Langston 8-11-1 135, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING -- Farmville Central -- Justin Foskey 6-68; Jessie Mercer 1-2; Darrell Davis 2-12; Quintrell Cotton 3-92, TD; Kajon Farrow 2-37, TD. Rosewood -- Dustin Overman 2-74, TD; Kyle Grey 5-61, TD; James Reusch 1-15.
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