Bucs win OT Thriller
Written by John Decker/Photos by John Decker
HENDERSONVILLE – In a true battle of will, the Beech Bucs outlasted the Summit Spartans 45-42 in a triple-overtime thriller to advance to the second round of the TSSAA Class 5A playoffs.
“I’m just proud of our guys, they fought their tails off tonight and we hung in there just long enough,” Beech coach Anthony Crabtree said. “I thought it would come down to who made the last mistake would lose, and that’s kind of what happened tonight.”
“We fought, play after play, overtime after overtime, and that’s all we can ever ask of these young men and we are very proud of them,” Summit coach Brian Coleman said. “That’s tough (way to lose), we knew it was going to take a turnover. We didn’t quit, kept fighting to the very end.”
Beech scored first on a 7-yard run by Ja’Sean Parks with 11 seconds left in the first quarter. Summit answered with a 35-yard TD pass from quarterback Destin Wade to George Odimegwu on the next drive.
The Bucs took the ball and scored on a 35-yard Tysean Jefferson touchdown run to make it 14-7 with 7:48 left in the first half. The Spartans answered back again with 4:25 left in the half to send the game into the intermission tied 14-14.
With the score 28-14 at the end of the third quarter, it looked like the Bucs might pull away. But Summit dug down deep, scoring on two drives powered by Wade, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bucs had taken the 28-14 lead on an Aaron Fox TD run and a Kemontae Coleman blocked punt, which he also scooped up and ran in from 10 yards out.
The Spartans scored with 4:53 left in the game, cutting the deficit to 28-21 and then forced a Buccaneer punt. Driving deep into Beech territory, Wade was intercepted by Caleb Clayton, who returned the ball out of the end zone to the Beech 12-yard line.
After a long run by Foxx, Beech appeared to have scored another touchdown, but the Bucs were called for holding. They fumbled on the next play and the Spartans scored on a pass that was tipped by a Beech defender before landing in the open arms of a Spartan receiver Brayden Stem to tie the game 28-28 with just 33 seconds left.
Heading to overtime with the momentum, Summit chose to go on offense and scored on its first possession as Wade rambled around the right end for a score. The Bucs tied things up as Foxx scored from 2 yards out.
In the second OT period, Beech chose to play defense first and gave up a quick score to the Spartans on a short pass out in the left flat to Stem, who carried Beech defenders into the end zone. Beech was stopped cold on two plays before quarterback Caden Cutrell hit Foxx in the end zone, tying it 42-42.
In the third overtime period, Beech took the ball first and reached the 5-yard line when a false start penalty cost them dearly. The Bucs settled for a 27-yard Edwards field goal for a 45-42 lead.
On the next Summit possession, Wade dropped the snap and Beech’s Cameron Clark fell on it, securing the win for the Bucs.
“We ran the ball really well at times, but we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties,” Crabtree said. “With the offense we run, and the way we have been throwing the ball, you can’t afford to do that. We have to stay ahead of the chains.”
Foxx finished with 152 yards rushing and three touchdowns and Parks added an additional 132 yards on the ground.
“I thought our running backs ran hard,” Crabtree added. “We blocked well up front for the most part.
Beech (8-3) will travel to Page (10-1) next Friday in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
“It’ll be a little better than this mud we were playing on tonight,” Crabtree joked of the artificial turf at Page High School.