Overtime thriller:?Gators sneak past Knights, 20-13

SILVER CREEK – Allegany-Limestone coach Paul Furlong saved arguably his best play call for last.

In double overtime of Friday’s Class C South matchup against Silver Creek-Forestville (1-4, 1-6), with the score tied 13-all, Furlong called for a wide receiver reverse and Joe Miller answered the call by taking the reverse 6 yards around the left side for what proved to be the game-winning score as the Gators (2-4, 2-5) prevailed 20-13.

“We had set it up and had been waiting and waiting and we just never had a great time to run (the reverse),” Furlong said. “I looked and I said, ‘Might as well run it now and see what happens.’ We got a great kick-out block, (Miller) read it great and got underneath for the score.”

After 48 minutes of regulation, the two teams remained deadlocked in a 6-6 tie. Silver Creek-Forestville won the overtime coin toss and got the first score on a 20-yard pass from Jake Nosbisch to Jacob Lewis on 4th-and-10. Nosbisch had earlier replaced Lewis at quarterback. Nate Serio kicked the extra point to bring the score to 13-6.

As per high school overtime rules, the Gators took over at the 20-yard line needing a touchdown and an extra point to send the game into a second overtime. Three plays later Allegany-Limestone found itself facing 4th-and-10. Furlong brought in Kyle McGraw, his best passing quarterback, to take one last attempt at the end zone.

The ball was snapped to McGraw who immediately faced a heavy pass rush and was forced to scramble. That scramble was good for 15 yards and a first down. Two plays later, running back Todd Mason plunged 5 yards for the touchdown. The successful extra point evened the score at 13-13, forcing the second overtime.

This time it was the Gators who won the toss and chose to take the ball first before Miller took the reverse in for the touchdown. Silver Creek-Forestville had the opportunity to answer, but on the Black Knights’ first play of the second overtime, Nosbisch was intercepted by Mason to seal the victory.

“We held our composure and didn’t panic,” Furlong said. “They got excited, but didn’t panic and that can really happen in an overtime game. We give up what we did and all of a sudden they score in overtime. We just gave ourselves a chance to win. It’s a huge win for us; both teams played their butts off. We just made one more play than they did.”

In regulation, it was Silver Creek-Forestville who got on the board first. After a poor Gator punt, the Black Knights took over at the Allegany-Limestone 24 yard-line. With just more than eight minutes left in the first half, Lewis connected with Nosbisch on a short pass, which Nosbisch caught at the 2-yard line and fought through a couple of would-be tacklers for the touchdown. Serio’s extra point was blocked leaving the score 6-0.

The Black Knight defense was able to hold the Gators on their next two drives, but a muffed punt return gave Allegany-Limestone the ball at the Black Knight 40-yard line with three minutes left in the half. The Gators proceeded to march the ball down the field and capitalize on the turnover when Thomas Nye scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:01 left before halftime. A blocked extra point resulted in the score being 6-6 going into halftime.

The two teams traded punts throughout the second half, leading to the overtime periods where Allegany-Limestone was able to score twice to earn the hard-fought victory.

“I thought we played great defensively,” Silver Creek-Forestville coach Sean Helmer said. “They bottled us up in the run game, challenged our receivers and we weren’t able to throw the ball. We had an untimely fumble on the punt and I thought we had the game won in overtime, but we gave up a quarterback scramble for a first down. We had played great defense up until that second. It hurts. It hurts real bad, but it is what it is.”

Mason led the Gator rushing attack with 77 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Ron Cunningham added 23 carries for 44 yards while Nye chipped in 22 yards and a touchdown.

Zach Johnston took the majority of the Gator snaps at quarterback and finished the game 3 of 6 passing for 39 yards.

Lewis started the game at quarterback for the Black Knights and completed seven passes on 22 attempts with a touchdown and two interceptions. Nosbisch replaced Lewis and threw nine passes while completing only one, finishing with a touchdown and an interception.

Sherman Williams carried the load for Silver Creek-Forestville by rushing 18 times for 56 yards.

Notes: The Gators out-rushed the Black Knights, 158-85 Allegany-Limestone won the time of possession battle 30:38-17:22 … Neither team was effective on third down as the Gators went 3 for 15 and the Black Knights finished 1 for 12 … Allegany-Limestone ran more total plays than Silver Creek-Forestville (69-57), but the total yardage wound up nearly dead even with the Gators holding a 197-196 advantage.