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Late-game FG lifts CMA to 22-21 win

Posted: September 27, 2010 9:54 a.m.
Updated: September 27, 2010 9:46 a.m.

Drew Goshorn saw one chance pass him by. His Camden Military Academy teammates made sure he had the opportunity to make up for it.

With his team trailing, 21-19, Goshorn, the Spartans’ kicker, missed the mark on a 37-yard field goal try late in Friday’s game at McBee. He didn’t have any problem splitting the uprights moments later, lifting the guests to a 22-21 victory.

The win gave Will Rice’s troops a 2-1 record heading into the bye week for the school’s fall break. But, it nearly was a reversal in fortune for the Spartans.

Down by a pair with less than four minutes left, CMA took over the football at its own 15 after holding the Panthers on downs. Led by quarterback Marlon Kelly, the visitors marched to the MHS 20 before trying a field goal with some two minutes left in the game clock.

As soon as Goshorn’s kick failed, the CMA staff got their defense together and gave them one simple instruction.

"Before they went back on the field, we told our defense to strip the ball and get it back for us,” Rice said.

Tye Moore did just that, stripping the Panther back of the football with the Spartans recovering the fumble. From there, the CMA offense moved the ball to the MHS six, where on fourth down, Goshorn was called on again. This time, his 22-yard kick found the mark and with 43 ticks left in the game clock, the guests took a one-point lead.

Four plays later, James Furr picked off a fourth down Julian Steen pass to sew things up.

Before deciding on what was the game-winning field goal, Rice said he and his staff gave thought to going for the first down on fourth and one.

“It was one of those decisions where we talked about going for it (the first down),” he said. “We talked about trying to  get the first down, but we thought the odds were better to kick a field goal.”

The game-winning boot completed the come-from-behind win for Rice and company, who trailed, 7-0, after one quarter.
The hosts ran the ball at CMA early before surprising the guests with a 40-yard playaction touchdown pass for 7-0 lead.

CMA evened things at seven in the second quarter as David Duncan capped a long drive by going in from 14 yards out. The touchdown was followed by Goshorn’s PAT kick.

McBee carried a 14-7 lead into the intermission after scoring on a five-yard run midway through the second stanza.

After running the ball well in the first half with tailback Bruce Smith, CMA saw McBee make a few adjustments to its defense which took away part of the Spartans’ ground attack.

“We ran the ball pretty well in the first half. In the second half, they started crowding the box against us when we went to the two-back set,” Rice said. “Smith had a couple nice catches for us, out of the backfield, in the second half.”

It was Kelly, however, who got the hot hand after halftime as the 6-foot-3 quarterback found John Crye with a 35-yard scoring toss in the third quarter which drew CMA to within 14-13 after a bad snap on the PAT try.

MHS responded with a 25-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to go on top, 21-13. Kelly and Crye responded by  hooking up for a 45-yard scoring pass, drawing the guests to within 21-19. The Panthers stopped the two-point conversion  to keep the two-point advantage.

After getting the ball back at his own 15 following the key defensive stop, Kelly made some big plays with his arm and legs.

“Kelly made a couple good runs and made some smart plays by going out of bounds to stop the clock on that last drive where we missed the field goal,” Rice said. “We had a good mix between the pass and the run. Our offense was moving the ball extremely well.

“I thought that we had a good second half. Our kids played together. They never quit.”

Before the contest, Rice said his team needed to get physical with a physical McBee squad. He was pleased with how his players responded to his call.

“They hit you in the mouth on both sides of the ball. They’re an extremely physical team,” he said of the Panthers. “We had to go out and match their physicality. This was a tough game for us.”

After a game such as this, Rice said his team can use a bit of rest to heal some bumps and bruises. The additional week off also allows lineman David Prezioso an extra week to return to from an injury.

In the same breath, however, Rice said the break comes at a time when his team is starting to round into shape.

“It does and it doesn’t,” Rice said when asked if the bye week comes at the right time. “It comes at the right time to let us heal from injuries. But, we’re also beginning to hit our stride and, we’re just starting to get into the shape that we need  to be in. So, in that respect, it’s a double-edged sword.”

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