Sasser FG leads Warriors to OT win over Cougars
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 29, 2010 1:51 AM
All Kyle Sasser could do was watch, pray and hope for a chance.
Eastern Wayne's junior kicker watched nervously from the sidelines as the Warriors' offense went to work in overtime.
Sasser was finally called upon and his 28-yard field goal, the first of his career, lifted Eastern Wayne to a thrilling 23-20, comeback win over Goldsboro on Friday night.
The Cougars fumbled on their first offensive play of overtime, which gave Sasser a chance to become a hero. The Warriors ran three offensive plays before sending Sasser out to seal the victory.
"I was on the sidelines praying," said Sasser. "I knew I might have the opportunity to get the victory for my team. On a 1 to 10 of how nervous I was, I was at about a 10. I haven't kicked any field goals on the game field during practice with actual goal posts.
"When I saw the ball go through all I felt was peace."
Eastern Wayne trailed 20-12 early in the fourth quarter and took over on its own 37-yard line. Warriors' quarterback Avner Clark engineered a 63-yard, 14-play drive that spanned nearly seven minutes and culminated in his 1-yard touchdown run. Shelton Pender's two-point conversion tied the game at 20-20.
"We grow up every game," said Eastern Wayne head coach Bubba Williams. "We're still learning how to play as a team and be a family. It was a heck of a game, it really was. Our kids came through huge and they played their hearts out."
Goldsboro trailed 12-8 at halftime and took a 14-12 lead on Andre Montgomery's 6-yard score late in the third quarter. Freddie Jones' 33-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter stretched the lead to 20-12.
Montgomery and Jones combined for 223 yards rushing, but the Cougars committed seven turnovers. Goldsboro lost three fumbles and turned the ball over on downs four times. The Cougars had 14 plays that resulted in negative yardage and were whistled for 14 penalties for 109 yards.
"We had two dropped fumbles on two-point conversions, that's four points," said Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid. "Eastern Wayne wanted it more tonight. We've got to find something to rally around. Hopefully, this will be that situation."
Clark's 27-yard touchdown pass to Lamoris Pridgen gave the Warriors a 12-8 lead just before halftime.
Montgomery scored from 16 yards out early in the second quarter. Jones' two-point conversion gave the Cougars an 8-6 advantage. Clark got Eastern Wayne on the scoreboard just 48 seconds into the second quarter.
For the second consecutive week, Goldsboro struggled to slow down an opponent's passing attack. Clark completed 7 of 18 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Five of Clark's seven completions went for 20 yards or more.
"That's just coaching," said Reid. "If you would have seen the film you would have (passed on us, too). We felt like we were a little bit better, but we weren't. It's mind boggling. We really worked on it this week. It's one of those things."
Eastern Wayne (1-1 overall) welcomes New Hanover on Friday, while the Cougars (0-2) play host to East Carteret.
"This give us a lot of confidence going into our next game," said Sasser. "This was the first time we've beaten Goldsboro in a while. We needed this win."
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