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State’s No. 2 KCHS Irish escape Spartan upset bid in 35-34 OT thriller
Irish showdown with No. 1 Fulton Friday on the road

Webb thought that this was the year that Catholic’s winning streak would end.

However, the Irish weren’t about to let that happen as Catholic outlasted rival Webb with a 35-34 overtime win Friday, Oct. 6, at KCHS’s Blaine Stadium.

After a neck and neck game, the Irish got the ball first in overtime. Senior fullback Brian Hartmann scored with a 3-yard run and Chris Seneker connected on the extra point to give Catholic (7-0) a 35-28 lead.

It took Webb (4-3) only two plays to answer the touchdown when quarterback Blake Beeler scrambled 11 yards for the score, but there was a penalty.

A personal foul penalty after the touchdown by Webb allowed the touchdown to stand, but the extra point was to be attempted from 35 yards instead of the usual 20.

Webb kicker Steve Ball got plenty of leg on the kick, but it sailed wide left giving the Irish their fifth consecutive win over its Cedar Bluff rival.

“Well, we didn’t play great and we had a lot of mistakes that cost us,” Irish coach Mark Pemberton said. “Our kicking game let us down with kickoffs, but you find a way to win, that’s what its all about and I thought our kids did a great job finding a way to win.”

The Irish special teams play let them down the entire game. Webb kick returner Derek Boyce had a field day, returning two first half kickoffs 58 and 65 yards to give Webb good field position, leading to scores.

“We didn’t come out playing our best ball,” Catholic senior Harrison Smith said. “We weren’t playing Catholic football by letting them take kickoffs back. But we fought back and we just played how we were taught to play.”

Beeler got Webb on the scoreboard first with a 16-yard run with 9:43 left in the first quarter.

“Webb has a really good offensive football team and they did a great job,” Pemberton said. “They are well-coached and I knew there wasn’t going to be a goose egg on the board. They did a super job with their run game.”

The Irish answered back with a 37-yard pass from junior quarterback Eric Lindsay to senior Patrick Kelly to tie the game with 3:07 left in the quarter.

The play was one that the Irish have tried numerous times throughout the season, but this was the first time it went for a score — and for Catholic it couldn’t have come in a better game.

“It was a great feeling because it was my first one of the season,” Kelly said. “I have tried a lot of times to hook up with Eric and was overthrown a couple times, but we hooked up this time and it felt great.”

The Spartans answered with a 34-yard pass from Beeler to Brandt Campbell with 47 seconds left in the first quarter to give Webb the 14-7 lead.

“By far this was the best game we played all season,” Webb coach Dave Meske said. “We played hard and made the plays.”

Catholic’s Smith tied the game at 14-14 with a 15-yard run with 7:16 remaining in the second quarter.

Webb answered right back with a Beeler 1-yard run, but Smith blocked Ball’s extra point try making it 20-14 with 4:10 remaining in the half. After a scoreless third quarter, the Irish took a 21-20 lead with 11:54 left in the fourth on a Smith 8-yard touchdown run.

Webb’s Bo Johnson scored on a 9-yard run with 4:03 left in the game. After Johnson scored the two-point conversion with a run off tackle, the Spartans took a 28-21 lead.

“All I was thinking about was getting around the end and into the end zone,” Johnson said. “The linemen did a great job and all I had to do was deal with one guy.”

Smith, who finished the night with 105 yards on 21 carries, knew that finding the end zone was a must on Catholic’s final drive and he didn’t disappoint.

“There are teams every week that say I am overrated, that I’m not a D-One player and all that so I just have to go out there and show them that they are wrong,” Smith said. “I don’t know my stats but I think I played pretty good tonight. My line blocked great for me.”

Smith answered the score with an 11-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left to tie the game at 28-28 and send the game into overtime.

There was little doubt on the Catholic sideline that they would leave the field without a victory.

“You can’t have doubt against our team, we always pull it out,” Kelly said. “Nobody on our team gives up. Everybody on our team has a big heart and everybody wants this game more than anything in their lives.”


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