FRANKLIN FURNACE – Forty-eight minutes of game action was not enough to decide a winner in the SOC I contest Friday night between the visiting Notre Dame Titans and the home Green Bobcats in Franklin Furnace.
Instead, after forty eight minutes of tough, physical football, Green and Notre Dame headed to extra time to decide who would walk away a winner.
After the Titans fourth turnover of the night on the opening possession of overtime, Green’s Alec Smith raced up the Notre Dame sideline on their first play in overtime to give the Bobcats a 28-22 SOC win over Notre Dame a year after the Titans defeated Green 16-8 in Portsmouth.
With Friday’s win, Green improved to 4-3 (1-1 SOC I) while Notre Dame fell to 0-7 (0-2 SOC I).
“We expected a game like this,” Green coach Ted Newsome said following the win. “We knew what we were going to get when we play them, their record is not indicative of their team’s ability or toughness. I shared with Coach Ashley on the field after the game that they’re the toughest game we play every year, the most mentally tough team we play. They’re tough, well-coached, and they’ll continue to be that. I have a lot of respect for them as a program.”
In a first half where not a lot went right for either team, it was Notre Dame who held a 7-6 advantage over the home Bobcats.
With 3:10 left in the first quarter, on 4th and 24 from the 27 yard line, Notre Dame junior quarterback Jake McGuire found fellow junior Caleb Nichols for a 27-yard touchdown pass to give Notre Dame the game’s first score and a 7-0 lead after Tanner Richards’ made PAT.
McGuire’s pass, his longest completion of the night, would be his lone passing touchdown in Friday’s loss, finishing the game 3/4 for 49 yards.
Shortly after the opening score of the game, Green took control of the ball and marched their way down the field to score their first points on a 4th and goal from the 19 yard-line touchdown pass from senior quarterback Trevor Darnell to senior Alec Smith. After their two point conversion attempt was no good, Green trailed Notre Dame 7-6 with 11:46 left in the first half.
From that point on, the score would remain the same entering the halftime break.
At the half, both teams combined for 11 penalties for 96 yards and a combined four turnovers.
No matter how you look at it, it’s a half of football both teams likely would have liked back.
“We’re still leaving a lot of series out on the field,” Newsome said. “You can say we finished the game, and we did, made the play that we needed to in overtime. But offensively we’re still too sloppy with untimely penalties and setbacks. We teach our kids to be aggressive till the whistle, but a lot of those mistakes were just our kids playing hard. But those kind of things take us out of drives and makes it tough to recover, for any offense.”
In the second half, both teams hit the ground running: literally and physically.
Green got the scoring going in the third quarter on their second possession of the half with a 66-yard touchdown run for junior Ethan Huffman. After the Bobcats converted their two point conversion on a Trevor Darnell pass to Alec Smith, Green took the lead over the visiting Titans 14-7 with 6:47 left in 3Q.
On their ensuing possession, Notre Dame’s Logan Emnett broke free from would-be tacklers for a 35 yard touchdown rush to cap a 7 play, 60 yard drive to tie things at 14-14 with 4:00 left in the 3Q. Emnett was the Titans leading rusher in Friday’s game with 137 yards on 25 total carries.
Darnell, after being kept in check on the ground in the first half, really found his way in the second half, including a 25 yard touchdown run with :59 second left in the 3Q to put Green ahead 22-14 after he proceeded to run in the two-point conversion attempt himself. For the game, Darnell rushed for 74 yards on 16 carries.
With their backs against the wall, needing to drive the length of the field from their own 28 to tie the game and send it to overtime, the Titans confronted their challenge with full force.
From 1st and 10 at the 10 yard line, sophomore running back Beau Hobbs completed a halfback pass for a touchdown to junior Austin Vaughters to get Notre Dame to within two with a pending two point try about to take place. On the try, McGuire scrambled to the left side of the field and found a wide-open Hobbs in the left flat to even things up at 22-22 with :31 left in regulation.
Notre Dame started with possession to start overtime and after picking up a first down on 3rd and 2, with a first and goal chance at the 8-yard line, the Titans committed their fourth and final turnover of the night as the Bobcats would take over for their possession, and the rest is history.
Alec Smith broke to the edge, up the Titans sideline for a 20-yard rushing touchdown to give Green a 28-22 home SOC win over Notre Dame, the first overtime game and subsequent win for Ted Newsome since becoming the Bobcats head coach.
“We think we’ve got some talented kids that can do great things with the ball,” Newsome said. “We’ve been struggling to find ways to get all four of them the ball, but that’s where we have to be creative and come up with ways to get them in space.”
After a physical battle in all phases of the game, Green must recover and regroup quickly for their week eight opponent: SOC I front runner Northwest.
The Mohawks, coming off a 44-6 home win over East, Friday, travel to Franklin Furnace tied with Symmes Valley atop of the SOC I standings (both 2-0).
“They’ve got a stout defense,” Newsome said of the Bobcats week eight opponent, Northwest. “So we’ve got to get the ball to our playmakers and keep the chains moving. It really comes down to not beating ourselves, trying to stop making those untimely errors that take us out of drives.”
Notre Dame – 7 0 7 8 (0) – 22
Green – 0 6 16 0 (6) – 28
ND – Caleb Nichols, 27-yard touchdown pass from Jake McGuire (Tanner Richards PAT good), 3:10 1Q (7-0 ND)
G – Alec Smith, 19-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Darnell (2-point try NO GOOD), 11:46 2Q (7-6 ND)
G – Ethan Huffman, 66-yard run (Darnell to Smith 2-point try GOOD), 6:47 3Q (14-7 G)
ND – Logan Emnett, 35-yard run (Tanner Richards PAT good), 4:00 3Q (14-14)
G – Trevor Darnell, 25-yard run (Darnell 2-point try GOOD), :59 3Q (22-14 G)
ND – Austin Vaughters, 10-yard pass from Beau Hobbs (McGuire to Hobbs 2-point try GOOD), :31 4Q (22-22)
G – Alec Smith, 20-yard run, OT, (28-22 G)
|Yards (Rushing-Passing)||310 (251-59)||365 (307-48)|
|Time of Possession||22:28||25:32|
|Penalties||8 for 69 yards||8 for 97 yards|
Rushing – Notre Dame: Logan Emnett 25-137 TD, Jake McGuire 12-75 TD, Beau Hobbs 6-29, Austin Vaughters 2-10; Green: Ethan Huffman 5-92 TD, Alec Smith 9-76 TD, Trevor Darnell 16-74 TD, Lonnie Smith 16-65
Passing – Notre Dame: Jake McGuire 3/4 49 yards TD, Beau Hobbs 1/1 10 yards TD; Green: 5/15 58 yards TD
Receiving – Notre Dame: Caleb Nichols 1-27 TD, Logan Emnett 1-13, Austin Vaughters 1-10 TD, Ethan Kammer 1-9; Green: Alec Smith 3-45 TD, Ethan Huffman 2-15
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved