OT thriller - Eastern Wayne defense stuffs Conley
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 17, 2006 2:19 AM
HOLLYWOOD -- Eastern Wayne's defense stopped Michael Worsley at the right time Friday evening.
The D.H. Conley tailback chewed up the Warrior defense for 123 yards during second-half play and scored the game-tying touchdown which forced overtime. When Worsley emerged the go-to man in the extra session, Eastern Wayne's defense tightened in the shadow of its own end zone.
Junior linebacker Lamar Lamb stopped Worsley on fourth-and-goal at the 5-yard line and the Warriors escaped with a 35-28, non-conference victory.
"We knew coming into the game that number 24 (Worsley) was a player and he hurt us right at the end," said Eastern Wayne defensive coordinator Brent Holland. "We could have hung our heads and quit. We challenged the guys.
"Our guys bowed their necks ... refused to lose."
Eastern Wayne (3-1) improved to 7-2-1 against non-conference opposition since 2005 and avenged last year's loss against the Vikings at Little Big Horn. The Warriors snapped a two-game losing streak on the road.
D.H. Conley fell to 2-2.
"We couldn't put them away in the second half," said Warriors head coach Jeff Price. "Credit Conley. They came out and gave us everything they had. They played an outstanding football game.
"There was a lot of adversity in this game and we played through it all."
The Warriors forced seven turnovers, but converted just two of the miscues into touchdowns. Price's team committed five turnovers of its own and drew 16 penalties for 93 yards.
"It rained yellow all night long," said Price.
Eastern Wayne's hard-hitting defense forced D.H. Conley into turnovers on its first four possessions of the opening quarter. David White and Dwight Ulmer hooked up for a 36-yard touchdown pass after Ulmer intercepted Viking quarterback Will Reaves.
The Vikings fumbled on their next possession, but the Warriors -- much to Price's dismay -- returned the favor three plays later.
The series of unfortunate events continue to plague both teams as the half progressed. Eastern Wayne tallied two second-quarter touchdowns and led 19-7 at intermission.
"We just can't put them away," lamented Price at the break.
Conley opened the third quarter with a crisp nine-play, 61-yard march that erased five-plus minutes off the clock. Worsley capped the drive with a 25-yard ramble.
Andrew Blevins pushed the Warriors' lead back to double digits -- 25-14 -- with an 11-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
But the lead wasn't safe.
Worsley continued to slash his way up the middle and set up Conley's third touchdown -- Reaves' 1-yard quarterback sneak -- as the Vikings pulled within 25-20. Dustin Smith booted a 26-yard field goal with 3:17 remaining in regulation to give the Warriors an eight-point lead.
Conley fumbled away its next possession, but Eastern Wayne gave up considerable yardage when a bad snap sailed through Eric Brofft's hands. Two plays later, Worsley broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown and added the two-point conversion.
"Worsley has good hips and makes you miss," said Holland. "When we went to our 'lock' and kept two linebackers there, we were effective. But he made a great run at the end.
"The defense ... seemed like we were on the field a lot (in the second half)."
The Vikings won the coin toss and elected to go on defense to start the first overtime. White scrambled for seven yards on first down and Blevins finished it off with a 3-yard touchdown plunge. Blevins ended the night with 138 yards rushing on 29 carries.
Worsley gained six yards on Conley's first two plays of OT. Darius Canida and Brandon Johnson stopped Worsley for no gain on third down. Lamb knocked Worsley off his feet behind the line of scrimmage on the game's final play.
"You always like to go defense first and get the stop," said Price. "Then you know what you have to do on offense, win it with a touchdown or field goal. It does change your play calling.
"We got it (a score) and made a great stand on their possession."
Eastern Wayne 6 13 6 3 7 -- 35
D.H. Conley 0 7 7 14 0 -- 28
EW -- Ulmer 36 pass from White (kick failed), 1:58
EW -- Best 78 kickoff return (Smith kick), 10:23
DHC -- A. Daniels 49 fumble return (Langley kick), 5:23
EW -- Mintz 21 pass from White (kick failed), 2:56
DHC -- Worsley 25 run (Langley kick), 6:57
EW -- Blevins 11 run (run failed), 0:38.4
DHC -- Reaves 1 run (run failed), 9:38
EW -- Smith 26 FG, 3:17
DHC -- Worsley 45 run (Worsley run), 0:34.6
EW -- Blevins 3 run (Smith kick)
First downs 16 13
Rushes-yds 49-167 40-206
Passing yds 70 9
Total yards 237 215
C-A-I 3-7-1 6-13-2
Fumbles-lost 5-4 7-6
Punts-avg 4-36.5 2-32.0
Penalties-yds 16-93 7-75
RUSHING -- Eastern Wayne -- Lamar Lamb 3-6; David White 9-28; Andrew Blevins 29-138; Orlando Midgette 2-(-1); Dwight Ulmer 5-13. D.H. Conley -- Robbie Leavy 3-17; Jeremy Worsley 23-169; Will Reaves 7-9; Reggie Walton 2-2; Jerry Coyle 5-9.
PASSING -- Eastern Wayne -- David White 3-7-1 70, 2 TDs. D.H. Conley -- Will Reaves 6-13-2 9.
RECEIVING -- Eastern Wayne -- Michael Mintz 1-21, TD; Eric Brofft 1-13; Dwight Ulmer 1-36, TD. D.H. Conley -- Robbie Leavy 1-8; Jerry Coyle 1-1; Brian Murphy 1-(-1); Jeremy Worsley 2-2; Germeil Davis 1-(-1).
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