In 3 OTs, Urbana outlasts Seneca Valley to reach final

Anderson scores winner to finish off 29-23 thriller

Class 3A football

High Schools

November 24, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GERMANTOWN - Big games do not always live up to the hype. This one did and had a whole lot more.

After a series of incredible momentum swings, Urbana senior fullback Brad Anderson scored an 8-yard touchdown on the final play of the third overtime to give the Hawks a 29-23 victory over host Seneca Valley in their first-ever meeting before an overflow crowd of more than 10,000 last night in a Maryland Class 3A semifinal.

Urbana (11-0) won its state-record 49th consecutive game and will play Patuxent of Calvert County next weekend at Byrd Stadium for the 3A title. Urbana, which has won the past three Class 2A state championships before moving up to 3A this season, will be playing for an unprecedented fourth consecutive state title.

"Incredible. It was just phenomenal. I don't know what to say," said an exasperated Urbana coach Dave Carruthers. "Unbelievable. We had them. Then we let them off the hook. ... No doubt about it, it was one of the biggest wins I've ever been experienced with."

With the score tied 23-23 after two overtimes, Seneca Valley faced a fourth-and-goal from the Urbana 2-yard line. Eagles coach Terry Changuris opted to go for a touchdown, but senior running back Eric Yancey - who rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown, and also made a spectacular leaping catch for a second touchdown at the end of double overtime - was drilled by Urbana senior defensive end Travis Sheets at the line of scrimmage. Yancey fumbled and Urbana senior Jim Corso recovered.

Needing just a field goal to win, Urbana rushed Anderson up the middle on a fullback dive on third down from the Seneca 8-yard line. Anderson took the handoff, burst through the center and put the Hawks into the final.

"I saw daylight," said Anderson, who finished with 61 yards and one touchdown. "All daylight, right up the gut. I just covered the ball up, tried to push it in the end zone."

After the two teams played to a defensive stalemate for nearly 47 minutes, Urbana forged ahead 9-6 with 1:31 remaining in regulation on a 50-yard field goal by sophomore Eric Lenz. Seneca Valley (10-1) - which has won a record 11 state titles, including three straight twice in the past 10 years (1992-94 and 1998-2000) - then came back in near miraculous fashion to send the game to overtime.

Facing fourth-and-20 from his 22-yard line, Screamin' Eagles senior quarterback Chris Crosby found junior wide receiver Brandon Chapman on a 46-yard pass play with 23 seconds remaining.

That set up junior kicker Marco Aldunate's 32-yard field goal with no time left to send the game into overtime. Aldunate, who comes from Bolivia and speaks little English, was playing in just his third football game.

"It was the most exciting game," Changuris said. "We've been in some real nail-bitters and came out on the winning end. To go three overtimes like that and to come back from a 50-yard field goal; my God."

Urbana 0 6 0 3 7 7 6 - 29

Seneca Valley 0 0 6 3 7 7 0 - 23

U-Fields 10 run (run failed)

SV-Crosby 5 run (kick blocked)

U-Lenz 50 FG SV-Aldunate 32 FG

SV-Yancey 2 run (Aldunate kick)

U-Gaines 8 pass from Conner (Lenz kick)

U-Fields 10 run (Lenz kick)

SV-Yancey 9 pass from Crosby (Aldunate kick)

U-Anderson 8 run

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