Big Reds Top GW 27-24 In Triple Overtime Tilt
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Down 21-14 with a minute and a half left in the game, the Big Reds did not quit.
Down 24-21 in the third overtime, the Big Reds did not quit.
And thanks to Corey Burdette's one yard touchdown plunge over the right side in that third extra period of play, the Big Reds were able to pull out a dramatic 27-24 victory over host George Washington to keep their playoff hopes alive.
With their backs to wall going into the game, at the end of regulation and in the third overtime, the Big Reds showed some great character with their first win over GW in eight years.
The Big Reds evened their record at 4-4 and GW dropped to 4-4.
Trailing by seven points and pinned down on their own 12 yard line with two minutes left to play in regulation the Big Reds pulled off the biggest play of the season when Josh Trembly dropped back to pass and hurled a bomb down the left sidelines to Dan Fox. Fox caught the ball in stride and out-raced the GW defender to the goal line for the touchdown.
Josh Roney then kicked the crucial extra point to tie the game at 21-all with 1:18 on the clock (even though Fox actually crossed the goal line with 1:30 on the clock).
GW got into Parkersburg territory before regulation time ended.
Parkersburg won the toss for overtime and elected to go on defense first. Starting at the 20 yard line, Patriot quarterback Kaleb Mackey dropped back to pass and tried to throw to the goal line but Easton Martin leaped in front and made a diving interception to end GW's possession.
The Big Reds, who had relied on the hard running of Corey Burdette to eat up minutes and yards the whole game, scored from the eight yard line on the fifth play of the first overtime but the touchdown was negated on a flag for holding that was thrown after Burdette had already scored and into an area where there were no Big Red players.
On the next play, PHS fumbled the ball away.
The second overtime saw PHS go on offense first and again the Big Reds fumbled the ball away.
But the Big Red defense held GW on downs when Ethan Airhart broke up a fourth down pass attempt into the end zone.
George Washington had the third and final overtime first possession and thanks to big defensive plays by Max Chefren and Chase Shank, the Patriots had to settle for a 23 yard field goal by Clayton Anderson which put the home team up by three and started celebrations by the GW faithful.
But apparently they forgot that PHS would get a chance to score and this time the Big Reds were not to be denied. Trembly bounced outside and gained 14 yards on the first play from the 20 yard line. Burdette then plowed up the middle for five hard yards before taking another handoff over right guard and tackle and reaching the end zone to win the game for PHS, 27-24.
Except for three mistakes in regulation, the PHS defense performed well while the Big Red offense showed its strategy was to run Burdette and try to control the game.
On the second offensive possession of the night the Big Reds drove from its own 20 to the GW 17, eating four minutes off the clock and using 10 plays before settling for a 34 yard field goal attempt by Roney. Roney's kick hit the crossbar and was no good with 3:52 left in the first quarter.
But two plays later Shank pressured the GW quarterback into a hurried throw and Austin Brown picked it off at the 25 yard line and took it to the end zone to put PHS on the board with 3:02 on the clock.
Not until early in the second period did GW show any offensive life and it took an over-the-should catch by Druw Bowen which was good for 38 yards to achieve that feat. Four plays after Bowen's reception took the ball to the 17 yard line, Nu Nu Miller scored over right guard with 8:54 left in the first half.
PHS followed that with a 10 play drive that reached the GW 23 before running out of downs.
A 54-yard reverse by Bowen set up the second Patriot touchdown which came with just 30.8 seconds left in the half. On third down from the five yard line, tailback Anderson took a pitch and then tossed a pass to a wide-open Darnell Brooks for the touchdown that gave the home team a 14-7 halftime lead.
The first half saw GW amass 90 yards rushing and 58 passing with six first downs. PHS answered with 84 yards rushing, 28 passing and six first downs.
The Big Reds were quick to tie the game in the second half as Chase Shank scooped up a GW fumble and returned it 19 yards to the two yard line on just the second play of the half.
Burdette then rammed the ball over the right side for the touchdown with just 27 seconds gone in the half.
But a 52 yard run by Miller gave the home team the lead back just 68 seconds later on a 52 yard run to make it 21-14.
The defenses took over until the 4:42 mark when PHS went for it on fourth-and-two from its own 24 yard line and lost two yards, giving GW the ball just 22 yards from an insurance touchdown.
But the Big Red defense came up big with stops by Ben McFarland, Burdette, Brown and Chefren which gave PHS the ball back on its own 13 yard line with 2:25 on the clock.
After Trembly lost a yard on the next play he got enough protection to hurl the game-tying pass to Fox.
Burdette finished the game with 71 yards rushing on 25 carries while PHS had 153 yards on the ground and 123 in the air (3-11-1) with 12 first downs and two lost fumbles.
Miller ran the ball 33 times for George Washington for 168 yards while as a team the Patriots managed a total of 235 yards on 49 attempts while passing for 76 more (6-14-2) with 14 first downs.
Defensively Shank had 12 tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass broken up. Burdette had 11 stops including a sack and two for loss while Chefren contributed 11 stops, one a sack, three for loss and caused a fumble. McFarland contributed 10 tackles with one being a sack and two for loss.
George Washington (4-4).....0...14...7....0....0....0....3....-....24
P - Austin Brown 25 interception return (Josh Roney kick) 23:02 1st
GW - Nu Nu Miller 5 run (Clayton Anderson kick) 8:54 2nd
GW - Darnell Brooks 5 pass from Anderson (Anderson kick) 00:31 2nd
P - Corey Burdette 2 run (Roney kick) 11:33 3rd
GW - Miller 52 run (Anderson kick) 10:25 3rd
P - Dan Fox 88 pass from Josh Trembly (Roney kick) 1:18 4th
GW - Anderson 23 field goal, 3rd OT
P - Burdette 1 run, 3rd OT