Central upsets Carter with safety in final moments
By Riley Cardwell
September 17, 2016
The Central football game at Carter was an absolute thrill ride. Not only was Central playing to avoid a 1-3 start, but it is homecoming night at Carter. Numerous interceptions, fumbles, 2-point conversions, and even a safety kept fans from each side on edge till the finals seconds of the game.
The 1st quarter began with Carter having a relatively easy touchdown drive. The Central defense looked rusty in the opening minutes except for a near interception by Tony Reeves, CB/WR. However, the offense made up for the defense shortcomings after a touchdown by Jadarius Sackie, RB/LB and another by Teako Stanley, RB.
Reeves finally gets his pick at the end of the 1st quarter which puts the offense in position to make a touchdown pass to Shermar Moore. At this point the score is 21-7 and Central looks to be in full control. Carter stays resilient and they score on another touchdown drive but miss the extra point, which in retrospect, lost the game for them.
On the kickoff to Central, Reeves muffs the catch and Carter recovers the ball for an easy 6 points. Carter tries to be tactical by going for the 2-point conversion but it is no good, making the score 21-19.
When Central gets the ball back, the drive is successful as another touchdown pass is made to Sackie. Carter fails their drive and Central has the opportunity to score again. Reeves takes full advantage of this opportunity by making a 50+ yard catch but Central has to settle for a field goal which makes the score 31-19 at the half.
Beginning the second half, Reeves, a recurring star, recovers a fumble to put Central on their own 27. Unfortunately, Central has to kick a field goal. Then Carter scores a field goal of their own after a halted drive. The 3rd quarter remains unexciting as no one is able to score a touchdown. The score at the end of the quarter is 34-22 with Central leading.
In the 4th quarter, the game is immersed in chaos. Carter is the first to score, but Central answers with a long pass made to Reeves for a touchdown. As if Carter was trying to outdo Reeves’ catch, a Carter receiver makes a phenomenal play by catching the ball over the head of the defender and taking it to the endzone for a 63 yard reception. The Carter fans go mad while Central fans sit with literal mad expressions. Central’s lead is decreased to 41-36.
During Central’s possession, the ball is fumbled and recovered by Carter directly in front of the endzone. At this point Central fans are biting their nails with anxiety. The defense forces the Hornets into a 4th and 9 situation with 2 minutes to go. Carter decides to try and convert, and they do. Central’s lead is finally overtaken and fans are furious. In order to make up for early mistakes by special teams, Carter, again, tries the 2-point conversion to no avail. Carter’s lead is 42-41.
Central remains optimistic; “we have 2 minutes, if we can just get down the field in range for a field goal we can put this game away.” The fans begin to doubt this after Central gets stuck at the 35 with a 3rd & 10 situation. This play is crucial to Central’s victory; someone must make a play. Reeves steps up to the challenge and makes difficult catch by leaping over a defender to get the 1st down. His effort is wildly applauded by the crowd who still see a glimmer of hope for the team.
The next play, Trey Mitchell, QB, makes a tough pass to Reeves who is in double coverage; the ball is intercepted. Central fans are overcome with a feeling of defeat as the Carter fans explode into praise for their team. Time is running out for the Bobcats; there is less than 2 minutes left.
Central’s defense stays in the moment; they know they must give the offense a chance for an easy field goal attempt. They hold Carter to 3rd & 1. They allow no gain on 4th down. Carter decides to punt since they are so close to their own endzone. Central fans are thinking, “it’s okay, we’ll get receive the punt and we have enough time to get into a comfortable field goal range, then the coach will call timeout and the game will be ours.”
But it is even better than that. Upon the snap, Sackie heroically thrusts himself front of the punter before he can get the ball off. It is deflected towards the endzone where Xavier Washington, LB, almost gets the recovery; however, a Carter player picks it up. He is too late. He is surrounded by Central defenders who tackle him to the ground, making it a safety on the play. The 2 points are just enough to put Central ahead 1 point. The Central crowd bursts into shouts of joy, and relief. Central has pulled off the upset.