D.H. Conley and J.H. Rose found themselves tied at 28 following the end of regulation Friday night at Hollywood Crossroads, leading the two bitter rivals to sort it out in overtime.
The Vikings used four plays, capped off by an 8-yard pass from quarterback Nick Hamilton to Chance Brown to take the lead, 35-28, putting the pressure on the Rose offense to keep the game going.
The Rampants’ offense found itself in a precarious position, just one yard away and staring at fourth down. It all came down to running back Michael Allen, who took a pitch from quarterback Wade Jarman. Running to his left, Allen stretched his arm and the ball out, but he was called inches short to cap off an instant classic in the longstanding rivalry.
Rose players, fans and coaches were displeased with the call, arguing that Allen did in fact break the plane of the end zone.
"I don't have much to say on that," Rampants head coach Dave Wojtecki said after the game. "I believe Michael Allen scored that touchdown. He reached out and knocked over the pylon."
On the other sideline, Conley fans and players cheered and jumped in celebration, but even through the cheers, players shook hands and congratulated one another on a hard-fought game.
"I am so proud of my guys," Conley coach Nate Conner said. "They played really hard all night."
Conner said he could not see the final play, as it finished near the Rose sideline.
"They (Rose) are a great team, no question about it," Conner said.
The Rampants were led by Jarman (11-for-25, 165 yards, 2 TDs) who, after a strong first half in which he went 5-for-13 throwing for 91 yards and both of his TDs, found little success in the air in the second half. Allen and the ground game saw plenty of success, finishing with 26 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Kevin Hamilton was Jarman's favorite target, recording five receptions for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns before being removed in an ambulance after a scary hit in the third quarter.
"He sustained a concussion," Wojtecki said of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference's leading receiver. "He went to Vidant (Medical Center) to be assessed further, but he was moving and talking, so we hope it's not too serious."
Leading the way for the Vikings was Hamilton, who also struggled in the second half, but finished with a strong stat line of 13-for-23, throwing for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He also recorded 11 rushes for seven yards and a touchdown. Brock Lasure (19 carries, 123 yards, 2 TDs) led the DHC ground game after starter Ramon Mabry was injured in the first quarter. Three Conley wide receivers recorded touchdowns, including Brown (1 reception, 9 yards, TD) and Charlie Dees (2-14 yards, TD). Matthew Rostar led DHC in receiving yardage after finishing with five receptions for 75 yards.
The first three possessions of the game ended with scores, leaving Conley ahead 14-7 early in the first after Hamilton (13-yard rushing TD) and Lasure (3-yard rush) recorded scores. A 27-yard pass from Jarman to Hamilton split the Viking scores. Momentum changed when Rose kick returner Silas James dropped a kick, which was recovered by DHC's Panda Askew. The turnover led to Conley adding another score via another three-yard run from Lasure to push the lead to 21-7.
Rose countered with back-to-back scores of its own, a nine-yard run from Allen and an amazing 27-yard touchdown reception from Hamilton over two Conley defenders. Conley recorded the last score of an exciting first half, as Nick Hamilton connected with Dees to make the score 28-21.
A 55-yard run from Allen tied things up again early in the third before both defenses locked down, combining for four turnovers (three from DHC, one from JHR), before the end of regulation.
Next up, Conley (4-3, 2-0) will travel to take on Washington in a game rescheduled due to Hurricane Dorian earlier this season, while Rose (2-5, 0-2) will look to end its five-game losing streak on the road at C.B. Aycock.
Contact Jake Keator at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.
SouthWest Edgecombe 44, North Pitt 14
North Pitt fell to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference after losing to conference leader SouthWest Edgecombe Friday night.
The Panthers will look to turn things around on Oct. 18 when they travel to face Beddingfield.
GRACE Christian 73, John Paul II 46
JP2 dropped its fifth consecutive game Friday night after falling to a strong Grace Christian team.
The Saints (1-5, 0-5) will play their second to last game of the regular season on Oct. 18 when the host Rocky Mount Academy.