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Chargers nip Devils 41-40 in double overtime

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Middlesex High’s Dale Smith (above with ball) was the leading rusher in the Tidewater District this season with 1,260 yards on 177 carries. He scored 15 touchdowns. Smith, Markus Hammond and Raheem Lockley paced the running game for the Chargers in their 41-40 win over Mathews Monday. (Photo by Larry Chowning)
by Larry S. Chowning

The extra-point kick that lifted the Middlesex High School football team over Mathews Monday night gave the Chargers one of the most thrilling wins in school history and a final season record of 5-5.

The winning extra point by Stone Shores in the 41-40 double overtime win came on the heels of a 22-yard “Hail Mary” pass and catch from Charger quarterback Chuckie Morris to wide receiver Markus Hammond.

The Chargers were down 40-34 in the second overtime and faced a fourth down and 22 when Morris threw the desperation pass. Two Middlesex players went up for the ball along with five Mathews defenders. Hammond came away with the touchdown grab to tie the game 40-40.

It was then up to Shores, and the sophomore kicker nailed the extra point to win the game 41-40.

Exciting Finish

With about 90 seconds remaining in regulation, Middlesex led 27-24. But a short line drive kickoff by the Chargers gave the Blue Devils the ball at the Middlesex 35 yard line. Mathews used their downs to place the ball in the center of the field and the Blue Devil kicker drilled the field goal to tie the score 27-27 with time running out.

In overtime, the ball is placed on the opponents’ 10 yard line and each team gets four downs to score.

In the first overtime, Mathews scored a TD and kicked the extra point to go ahead 34-27. 

Hammond then scored on a 10-yard run for the Chargers, and Shores added the extra point to tie the game 34-34 and forced a second overtime. 

In the second overtime, Mathews scored a TD and decided to go for a two-point conversion—but the Middlesex defense held.

With the Devils ahead 40-34, the Chargers got their chance to score and, on first down, were dropped for a loss. The next play gained about five yards, but a holding penalty pushed Middlesex back to the Mathews 25 yard line. It still remained second down.

Playing on a messy field, on second down Morris slipped and fell in the backfield. On third down, the Chargers rushed to the 22 yard line.

It was fourth down and 22 yards to go with the game on the line. Morris moved to his left and passed to Hammond in the corner of the end zone for the game-tying TD. 

Shores calmly walked onto the field and split the uprights with his game-winning extra point for a 41-40 Charger win.

During the first half, the Chargers dominated Mathews. The Chargers scored on the first set of downs as Jeremy Webb returned the kickoff 52 yards to start the drive. Hammond capped the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run and Shores kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0.

Middlesex came right back and scored on an 8-play, 73-yard drive capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Kris Baylor and a Shores’ extra point to give the Chargers a 14-0 lead.

With little time left in the first quarter, Middlesex recovered a fumble and it appeared the Chargers were going to score again, but the slippery field caused Morris to fall backwards twice. Mathews took over on downs at its own two yard line. 

The Blue Devils then drove deep in Middlesex territory but had to settle for a field goal. The score was 14-3 just over a minute into the second quarter.

The Chargers scored with 30 seconds left in the first half when Raheem Lockley ran 35 yards for a touchdown. Shores added the extra point and Middlesex led 21-3 at the half.
The third quarter was all Blue Devils. Mathews methodically took apart the Chargers’ defense and offense and scored twice in the third quarter, once after recovering an onside kick. 

Mathews scored a third touchdown in the fourth quarter to seize a 24-21 lead. The Chargers seemed to get themselves back on track toward the end of regulation as Hammond scored on a 27-yard run to give the Chargers a 27-24 lead. Shores, however, missed his first extra point of the game. The late Mathews field goal tied the game at 27-27 and sent it into overtime—when the real excitement started.

Lockley rushed for 102 yards on 7 carries for MHS, Hammond had 77 yards on 6 carries, and Dale Smith gained 70 yards on 14 carries.

Smith gained 60 yards in the first half, but the Mathews defensive line shut him down in the second half. The MHS senior gained enough yards to make him the Tidewater District’s leading rusher.

Morris completed 2 passes for 32 yards and one touchdown. Hammond caught the 22-yard touchdown pass and Matt Duke caught a 10-yard pass.

The Chargers ended the season with a 2-2 Tidewater District mark, good enough for third place.

Playoffs

King William had a 4-0 mark to win the district title and was 8-2 overall. West Point finished 3-1 in the district and 9-1 overall. King William qualified for this weekend’s Division 2 playoffs and will host Washington & Lee (8-2) at 7 p.m. Friday. West Point qualified for the Division 1 playoffs and will host defending state champion Franklin (8-2) at 7 p.m. this Friday.

posted 11.19.2009

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