|Tigers land knockout blow in double OT|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Nov. 11, 2005 - GREENVILLE - The bi-district round of the Class 3A, Region II playoffs between the Wills Point Tigers and the Mount Vernon Tigers turned into a 12-round fight with Mount Vernon landing the knockout blow.
Mount Vernon needed a 25-yard touchdown pass from Justin Drabble to Kyle Clayton in the second overtime period for a 40-34 thrilling win at T.A. Cotton "Ford" Stadium.
"When you have a game like that and I thought that it was going to be a good game but I didn't know that it was going to be anything like that," said MVHS coach Dickey Meeks. "Right now, it is just good to get out of it and whoever was going to have the ball last was going to win, and we had the ball last and got it in there."
Wills Point relied on their super-weapon running back/quarterback in senior Chris Booker, who had a combined 338 yards of the team's 476 yards of offense. Booker alternated the quarterback role with Donnie Steil during the game.
"It was no question that Booker would be their offense and the only thing was we couldn't do anything about it. Of course we have a two-or-three person deal and we were able to move the ball and stay in there and we knew Chris would be the guy and he was awfully good," Meeks said.
Booker scored on touchdown runs of 38, 2 and 2 yards and finished with 201 yards on 26 totes and had five receptions for 137 yards for Wills Point.
On the opening drive of the first half for Mount Vernon, Drabble led them on an eight-play, 42-yard drive capped off with a 5-yard pass from Drabble to Chris Bonner. Landry McGonagill nailed the PAT good for the 7-6 lead.
�Mount Vernon held a 13-12 lead going into the intermission as in the second quarter Drabble connected with Clint Brasher on a 69-yard touchdown strike. MVHS went for two but the run failed with 4:38 remaining.
After a 32-yard field goal by Wills Point's Justin Hall left the third quarter score at 15-13, the fourth quarter started the offensive fireworks as 26 combined points were scored.
Mount Vernon opened the quarter with a 19-yard strike from Drabble to Brasher and connected on the two-point conversion from Brantley Price to Drabble for the 21-15 lead.
It looked as if the nail was put in the coffin for Wills Point as Drabble went around the left sideline 83 yards to paydirt for the 27-15 lead with 6:38 remaining.
But the lead would not hold up for long after Booker's 2-yard touchdown, Wills Point's Jacob Keierleber took a 13-yard pass to paydirt from Steil to tie the game at 27-27 with the PAT pending. Jerrus Doss blocked the attempt by Hall to keep the game tied.
"There was so much emotion there, and we knew if they kicked the extra point we were pretty much dead and Jerrus blocked the extra point. Then, we had the special play on the kickoff, and we only had 45 seconds left, and we do the throw-back and we get it down and hit a couple of passes and we are right there for the win," the coach said.
After getting the ball down to the Wills Point 11-yard line with 15 seconds remaining, McGonagill missed a 28-yard field goal wide right to send the game into overtime.
"We didn't get the field goal and then the overtime period started. We scored on one play and then they scored on two plays and then we stepped up and had a break," Meeks said.
In the first overtime, Drabble wasted no time in getting the lead for Mount Vernon with a 25-yard run around the left sideline. McGonagill nailed the PAT good.
Wills Point came back on their next drive and in two plays scored on a 1-yard run by Steil leading to the final drive by the Purple Tigers.
Drabble finished the game 18-of-31 for 275 yards passing and four touchdowns and rushed for 127 yards on 18 totes in the win.
"He has just played like that and he has gotten better every week. He has been more than I have expected and he just keeps getting up after taking a lot of hits during the game," the coach said. "He plays both sides of the ball and all that you can do is just praise him for what he does."
Clayton had seven catches for 119 yards and the game-winning touchdown for the Tigers, Brasher had two catches for 88 yards, and Chris Bonner had five receptions for 53 yards. Doss had 26 yards rushing on nine carries.
Steil went 16-of-29 for 262 yards passing with one touchdown and two interceptions.
MVHS (6-5) will now face the winner of the Dallas Madison-Van Alstyne battle tonight in Van Alstyne, while Wills Point ends their season at 5-6 overall.
"The thing about it is we played Madison last year and they beat us out in the area round. I don't know who will win the game, but Madison is favored and we just have to get ready and face whoever it is next week," Meeks said. "I am pretty sure that the game will be here next week, and we will probably be coming back to the same place."