Overtime games in football are rare enough, but quadruple-overtime games are freakish aberrations. River Hill's unbeaten football team had the good fortune to win a quadruple-overtime game Friday against Long Reach, 28-27.
"It was pretty exciting," said Hawks coach Brian Van Deusen. "And it was a big win for us because Long Reach is Class 3A and in our region. This was only our second overtime game in school history."
Long Reach (2-2) led 14-0 at halftime, but River Hill rallied with a touchdown in the third quarter, and then a tying 55-yard touchdown catch by Rogers Barnes with 36 seconds left in regulation. Ryan Dieter kicked the extra point to tie the score at 14.
Then things really got wild. Each team received four downs to score from the 10-yard line.
River Hill (4-0) opted to play defense first. Long Reach scored from 10 yards on its first play, but River Hill tied it when Tom Perkins caught a 3-yard, tipped pass - on fourth down.
In the second overtime, both teams failed to score, with Long Reach missing a field goal on fourth down.
In the scoreless third overtime, Long Reach quarterback Trent Covington fumbled and River Hill's Nick Madiou recovered. But then River Hill missed a fourth-down field goal.
River Hill scored first in the fourth overtime on a 3-yard, third-down pass from Ben Hostetler to Ben Nowak. Hostetler was 12-for-25 for 137 yards and four touchdowns passing. Nowak caught six passes for 36 yards and one touchdown.
Long Reach scored on a halfback pass from Jereme Scott to Lance Hayden on second down. After taking timeout, the Lightning elected to go for a game-winning two-point try but was called for a 5-yard penalty for having 12 men on the field. From the 8 then, Long Reach still went for the two-pointer, but Covington's pass was intercepted by Tim Morgan.
"Covington and Morgan were teammates on the Columbia Bulldogs," said Van Deusen. "Their [Long Reach] guys were getting tired, so I wasn't too surprised they went for two points, but I was surprised after the penalty, because with 8 yards to gain, you know they're going to pass and can get a rush."
The victory gave River Hill a 5-4 edge in the series between the two schools.
The Hawks, who also started last season at 4-0, play at Oakland Mills' homecoming Saturday.
Wildecats girls face test
Wilde Lake's girls soccer team survived an overtime scare from Reservoir Tuesday to stay unbeaten and set up a showdown tomorrow with No. 5 River Hill.
The Wildecats (5-0 overall, 5-0 league) won eight minutes into overtime on a goal by Ali McDonough, who also assisted on Wilde Lake's first goal scored by Ashley Myrick. Claire McDuff assisted on the game-winner.
"Reservoir is very young but very good technically, and its goalkeeper and defense played well," said Wilde Lake coach Dave Procida. "They [Reservoir] actually scored first on a nice counterattack."
Procida has the utmost respect for River Hill (5-1-1), an opponent that many people have said is down this season from previous years.
"Down from what?" said Procida. "From a very high level, which still leaves them at a high level. They have a good coach and a veteran team that won't beat itself. We'll have to beat them. There's no question we're the underdog."
Wilde Lake will find out in the next five games just how good it is - facing River Hill, Centennial, Hammond, Mount Hebron and Glenelg in that order.
"They've earned where they are right now and have done everything they've needed to do," said Procida, a first-year coach, about the Wildecats.
Viking has great game
Chris Eccleston of Mount Hebron had the kind of football game last Friday against Atholton that sophomores usually only dream about.
He rushed 11 times for 22 yards and one touchdown. He caught three passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns. And he intercepted two passes.
His efforts helped Mount Hebron to a 49-7 victory.