John Garst's 10-yard touchdown run on Perry Hall's first overtime possession lifted the Gators to a 20-14 victory over host Eastern Vo-Tech yesterday in a Baltimore County 4A-3A Division game.
The win preserved Perry Hall's lead in the division. EVT (6-3, 5-3) dropped two games behind the Gators (6-3, 6-1).
Despite the loss, EVT still has a slight chance of making the state Class 3A playoffs because Randallstown lost to Dundalk, 27-6. Perry Hall kept its slim Class 4A playoff hopes alive.
"We're trying to win our league," said Perry Hall coach Joe Stoy. "That's our main objective. Anything after that, if it comes, it comes."
Perry Hall dominated the first half with a rushing attack led by Garst (13 carries, 78 yards) and Mark Franklin (12 carries, 68 yards).
Rushing touchdowns by Garst and Mandell Marsh gave Perry Hall a 14-0 halftime lead, but in the second half, EVT's Darrell Ray took over, leading the Mavericks to two scores.
On EVT's first possession in the second half, Ray rushed for 35 yards on eight carries, leading an 88-yard scoring drive, capped by John Messercola's 28-yard touchdown pass to Keith Gerhard.
In the fourth quarter, Ray's 44-yard punt return to Perry Hall's 11-yard line set up Ira McCullough's touchdown run. Messercola's two-point-conversion pass to Derrick Ray tied it.
The Mavericks threatened again in the fourth quarter, with a first-and-10 on the Gators' 17, but two holding penalties and three incomplete passes kept them from taking the lead.