The Brookland-Cayce Bearcats had just scored in the second overtime period to pull within 1 point of Lexington. With an a banged up quarterback, they decided to go for 2 points and a win. Reed Charpia took the snap and handed it to Joe Pradubsri on a sweep to the left side. The Wildcats roared and stopped the play with a gang tackle. Alston Stewart wrapped the runner first. Chandler Corley, Joshua Keisler, and Logan Cripe got there to ensure the takedown. A long night ended with a 29-28 win to keep Lexington undefeated at 3-0.
Coach Perry Woolbright summed it up well. “It isn’t always pretty but our guys play with a lot of heart and fight till the end.”
It certainly wasn’t pretty for the Wildcats a large portion of the game. Lexington turned the ball over on fumbles on two key moments. Midway through the 4th quarter with the score tied at 22, the Cats advanced from their own 37 to the BC 39. On the 3rd and 3, the Bearcats recovered a loose ball. On the next possession, the blown opportunity was even more disheartening. Starting on the BC 30, Lexington easily advanced the ball to the opponent’s 1 yard line on seven consecutive running plays. On 3rd and goal, the ball was fumbled and lost again. On four other occasions, the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs after 4th down plays came up short, two from the 20, one from the 19, and the other from the 6. This was due in part to the lack of the dominating place kicking game the Cats enjoyed over the past four years.
The Lexington defense forced the Bearcats to miss out on their share of opportunities as well. In the 2nd quarter, Reed Charpia was intercepted by Mitchell McGee on a play that started on the Lexington 5 yard line. On their next possession, Charpia’s pass to Dominick Perry was complete to the BC 22 but John Mills forced a fumble that was recovered by Joshua Keasler. Late in the 3rd quarter, the Wildcat defense tackled Charpia in his end zone for a 34 yard loss and a safety. Then with 4:59 left in a tied game, Jaylen McCoy forced a fumble on a sack of Charpia. It was recovered by Logan Cripe on the BC 30.
Matthew Waller placed the game’s opening kickoff perfectly in a seam of the receiving alignment. BC players looked confused and let the live ball roll dead as the Cats’ Parker Vancoutren gained possession. On the first play from scrimmage, Chase Crouch ran 21 yards to the end zone and Lexington took a 7-0 lead.
Brookland-Cayce answered with a 5-play drive that culminated in a 30-yard touchdown completion to receiver Keylin Roach.
It looked as though the game would turn into a shootout as Lexington engineered a balanced drive that was extended by two 1st downs. On 3rd and 9 from the BC 34, Chase Crouch found Mitchell McGee in the end zone, giving his team a 13-7 lead as the successive extra point attempt was blocked.
The 13-7 Wildcat lead held up until midway through the 3rd when they forced the safety to add 2 more to the total and make it 15-7. But after the following Lexington drive bogged down on the BC 20, the Bearcats scored on a quick strike, 79-yard touchdown pass to Dominick Perry. BC was good on a 2-point try to tie the game at 15.
Lexington followed with a 9 play 58-yard scoring drive that featured a 43 yard pass to William Crouch and a 3 yard touchdown run by Jordan Hiller. The Cats held the lead for about 3 minutes as BC covered 73 yards on 6 plays that culminated in a 6-yard carry to tie the score at 22-22 and ultimately force overtime.
Neither team scored in the 1st OT period as the Bearcats missed a short field goal and the Wildcats lost 21 yards on 4 plays and 2 penalties.
In the 2nd OT, Lexington scored quickly, on two running plays, but were flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty after the TD. The extra point was good to give the Wildcats a 7-point lead but the penalty allowed BC to start at the 5 instead of the 10. Rasheed Taylor immediately scored, setting up the 2-point try, which the Cat defense read perfectly and executed for the thrilling finish.
Lexington will play at North Augusta next Friday before returning to Wildcat Stadium on September 15 for a Homecoming game with Spring Valley.
First Downs: Lexington 29, BC 28
Total Offense: Lexington 67 plays for 278 yards, BC 52 plays for 291 yards
Interceptions: Lexington 0, BC 1
Fumbles: Lexington 3 (lost 2), BC 2 (lost 2)
Penalties: Lexington 11 for 114 yards, BC 8 for 75 yards
Chase Crouch: 12 carries/69 yards, 2 TD
Jordan Hiller: 22 carries/63 yards, 1 TD
Mitchell McGee: 6 carries/23 yards
Chase Crouch: 10 for 24, 122 yards, 1 TD
William Crouch: 3 for 62 yards
Mitchell McGee: 3 for 47 yards, 1 TD
Jordan Hiller: 2 for 1 yard
Trevor Daniel: 1 for 7 yards
Tristan Allen: 2 punts, average 40.0 yards, both punts inside the 20
Logan Cripe: 10 tackles (3 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss), 1 fumble recovery
Chandler Corley: 6 tackles (1 tackle for loss)
Alston Stewart: 5 tackles (1 sack, 2 tackles for loss)
Othello Sutton: 5 tackles (0.5 tackles for loss)