Game of the Week: Rams capture 3-OT thriller
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on September 2, 2007 2:02 AM
SNOW HILL -- William Brown trotted into the end zone, looked up at the stars and released a huge sigh.
The quarterback's sense of relief was shared by his fellow coaches and teammates as Greene Central pulled out its second last-minute victory in as many weeks. Brown's 10-yard run in the third overtime gave the Rams a 27-21 win over Charles B. Aycock on Friday night.
"It was such a great feeling," said Brown of his game-winning score. "I was so happy. We played hard nosed football like we know how to play and we scored."
Overtime was a struggle for both sides as Greene Central (3-0) and Aycock (0-2) both made mistakes and lost yardage.
"I don't think either team had anything left for each other in those overtimes," said Aycock head coach Randy Pinkowski. "It was a thrilling game for the fans. I hate my kids came up on the short end of the stick though."
Aycock had its chances to leave with a win. With 38 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, kicker Alex Roosin -- who was battling a pulled quad -- missed a 33-yard field goal. With both teams alternating possession at the 10-yard line in overtime, Roosin had his kick blocked and quarterback Stephen Strouse was victimized by interceptions in the second and third overtimes.
The Rams Abel Real missed his own field goal, a 28-yard attempt, while the offense sputtered during the second half and overtime. It wasn't until the first play of Greene Central's possession in the third overtime that Brown scored to send everyone home.
Missed opportunities and big plays like those helped write the story for a very long and eventful night.
The crazy plays began in the first quarter when Aycock ran a fake punt on its own 21-yard line only to fumble a play later. The recovery by T.J. McPhail set up Brown's 43-yard touchdown run to give the Rams a 6-0 lead.
"William's always running for his life," said Greene Central head coach Jim Bob Bryant. "He's one of the best athletes I've ever coached."
The teams would commit four turnovers in the second quarter. In between those, the Golden Falcons grabbed their only lead of the night as sophomore running back Tyhiem Pitt ran it in from 3-yards out. Roosin's extra-point was good, making it 7-6 Aycock.
With less than a minute to play before halftime, the Rams retook the lead thanks to McPhail recovering another fumble at the Aycock 22-yard line. Aaron Harper later scored on a 3-yard run and Brown's two-point conversion gave the Rams a 14-7 lead at the half.
In the first half, Aycock had watched Brown run for 82 yards. The Golden Falcons made sure there wouldn't be a repeat performance in the second half.
The Aycock defense that held Clayton to three points last week, held Brown to negative 4-yards and the Rams to seven points over the next two quarters.
"Greene Central's got a super athlete out there at quarterback, but for the most part we kept him contained," said Pinkowski. "We talked to the kids about some techniques at halftime and they did a great job in the second half."
Down 21-7 after Brown's 6-yard, fourth-down scoring pass to Curtis Braswell, the Golden Falcons mounted a comeback. Led by the legs of Pitt and some well timed passes, Aycock cut the lead to seven when Strouse found Michael King for a 4-yard touchdown with 1 minute, 12 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Following a Greene Central punt, Aycock tied the score with nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter when Pitt ran over and through defenders for his second 3-yard score of the night.
"I think that's the nature of my kids and coaches," said Pinkowski. "We aren't going to go out and be a front-runner all the time. We have to keep hammering away, correcting our mistakes and keep working towards the end zone."
The game would remain tied until the third overtime with both team's defenses standing out.
"Our philosophy with this young defense is to bend, but don't break," said Bryant. "They bent all night long, but when it mattered at the end, they didn't break. It was just an overall great team effort. I'm spent."
C.B. Aycock 0 7 7 7 0 0 0 -- 21
Greene Central 6 8 7 0 0 0 6 -- 27
GC -- Brown 43 yard run (Kick failed), 6:47
A -- Pitt 3 yard run (Roosin kick), 8:14
GC -- Harper 3 yard run (Brown run), :48
GC -- Braswell 6 yard pass from Brown (Real kick), 6:01
A -- King 4 yard pass from Strouse (Roosin kick), 1:12
A -- Pitt 3 yard run (Roosin kick), 9:00
GC -- Brown 10 yard run, 0:00
First downs 15 11
Rushes-yds 51-124 41-139
Passing yds 116 106
Total yards 240 245
C-A-I 7-15-3 4-15-1
Fumbles-lost 4-3 3-2
Penalties-yds 8-40 8-80
Punting 5-37.2 5-29.8
RUSHING -- Greene Central -- William Brown 19-78 2TD; Aaron Harper 16-57 TD; Tyrell Lane 6-4. C.B. Aycock -- Tyhiem Pitt 30-126 2TD; Blake Cooper 5-19; Devin Sanders 5-9; Jarrett Covar 1-0; Kelton Lewis 1-(-4); Devon Newsome 3-(-9); Stephen Strouse 6-(-17).
PASSING -- Greene Central -- William Brown 4-15-1, 106. C.B. Aycock -- Stephen Strouse 6-14-3, 84; Ian Calder 1-1-0, 32.
RECEIVING -- Greene Central -- Curtis Braswell 3-82 TD; Danny Moye 1-24. C.B. Aycock -- Nick Redding 1-32; Tyhiem Pitt 1-11; Jacob Pendleton 3-69; Blake Cooper 1-0; Michael King 1-4 .
MISSED FIELD GOALS -- Roosin (38, 33, 32); Real (28).
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