Friday, September 13, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
JASPER, Tenn. --Chattanooga Central rallied for two, fourth quarter touchdowns and then had to watch a late Marion County field goal attempt sail wide right to defeat the host Warriors, 21-19, here Friday night in a high school football game.
Quarterback Scout Morgan scored what proved to be the winning touchdown for the victorious Purple Pounders (2-2) with 2:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, while teammate Isyah Funk had the other two scores.
Blake Zeman scored all three Marion County touchdowns, the last coming at 4:08 of the third quarter to give the Warriors a 19-7 lead, but the two-point conversion run was short of the goal.
In a game of missed opportunities and costly penalties, Central needed a fourth down holding penalty to keep its winning drive alive late in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 19-14 at 6:54 of the fourth, the Pounders moved from its own 20 to the Marion County 16, but an incomplete pass on fourth and goal temporarily ended Central's last chance at a win.
But an official signaled holding on Marion County (3-1) giving Central a first and goal at the 8. Two plays later Morgan was in the end zone and Tareq Faleh converted his third of three extra points for the two point lead.
"We marched the ball down their throats on that drive," said Central coach John Allen.
"The official called holding on one of our players on the left side and the incomplete pass was in the right corner of the end zone, but if it was holding then it's holding," said Marion County coach Mack McCurry.
Not Over 'Til Its Over: Zeman then fumbled on the second play after the kickoff to give Central the ball, but redeemed himself three plays later by stripping the ball from a Central runner and Marion had one last chance from its own 47 with just under a minute to play.
Warrior quarterback Logan Walters quickly moved the team to the Central 3 yard line, but a missed field goal attempt by Christian Stephens with four seconds remaining gave Central the win.
"The missed field goal by Christian was failure but not fatal," said McCurry. "He's a sophomore and the next time he has a big kick to make he will know how to handle the pressure."
Which Call to Make: "It was goal to go at the three and we could pass, run or kick the field goal on that last play," said Mccurry. "I thought they would send everybody to stop the run so we went for the kick, didn't make it."
On the other side, coach Allen said, "They were afraid to run at us down there on the goal line and went for the field goal instead."
First Score: Marion County opened the scoring as Zeman's 8-yard run capped a 78 yard, 11 play drive that included a successful fake punt on a fourth and six to keep the drive alive. Zeman rushed for 45 yards on six carries.
Another key play in the drive was a 34 yard pass play from Logan Walters to Clay O'Shields for 34 yards and a first down on the Central 12. Zeman scored two plays later.
The Warriors increased the lead to 13-0 as Zeman scored at 4:35 of the second quarter from eight yards out at the end of an 82 yard, nine play drive but the extra point attempt was blocked by Central's Funk.
Two minutes later, Central's Antonio Baker recovered a Marion County fumble which led to a 60 yard scoring drive by the Pounders 26 seconds before intermission.
Coach Allen to His Players: I have been looking for that kind of effort, that fight for three years ... I prayed to God for three days that something good would happen to my boys .... O-line stand up . you deserve a round of applause as you did a great job."
Central 21, Marion County 19
Central 0 - 7 - 0 -14 -- 21
MC - 7 - 6 - 6 - 0 -- 19
MC -Blake Zeman 8 run (Christian Stephens kick), 7-0, :12 ... 1st Q
MC- Zeman 8 run (kick blocked by Isyah Funk),13-0, 4:35. 2nd Q
Central - Isyah Funk 1 run (Tareq Faleh kick), 13-7, :26 ... 2nd
MC - Zeman 4 run (run failed), 19-7, 4:08 ... 3rd Q
Central -Funk 9 run (Faleh kick), 19-14, 10:45 ... 4th Q
Central Scout Morgan 3 run (Faleh kick), 21-19, 2:35 ...4th Q
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com