By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Glencoe came a point short last Friday in qualifying for the state quarterfinals for the first time since the 1996 season.
After tying the game in the final seconds of regulation, the Yellow Jackets (8-4) lost to Colbert County, 45-44, in overtime in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
After the hosts won the overtime toss and deferred, the Indians (11-1) took a 45-38 lead on Ryan Carpenter’s 1-yard touchdown run and Sergio Mendoza’s PAT.
Glencoe, however, answered with Dylan Stone’s 10-yard scoring pass to Pace Ozmint on the Yellow Jackets first play of the extra session.
The Yellow Jackets were set to force the tie and send the contest into a second overtime, but the extra point sailed left by a few feet, giving the Leighton squad a 45-44 victory and berth in the third round against Saks on Friday.
After the game Ozmint explained the decision to go for the tie rather than attempt a two-point conversion play for the win.
“You don’t go for the win at home; you go for the tie. Joseph Bright’s a very, very accurate kicker, and for some reason that one didn’t go through. Probably in hindsight, we should have gone for two. But I was confident in my kicker and I’m still confident in him. I’m proud of how our kids continued to fight and didn’t lose their composure. We made the plays down the stretch to put us in a position to win, but we just fell short in the end. That’s all there is to it. You’re playing the No. 2 or 3 team in the state and you have them on the ropes, but there’s zero tolerance for mistakes, and tonight we made some mistakes.”
Carpenter’s game-winning touchdown run capped an outstanding night for the senior halfback, as he rushed for 374 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries.
“Ryan’s our workhorse, and it didn’t take long to figure out that we were going to have to ride him to win,” said CCHS head coach Dale Jeffreys. “He’s had a great season for us and had another great night. We didn’t execute the way we should have, especially in the first half. I think the wetness might have bothered us a little bit to start with, and we should have thrown the ball more a little bit more, but they put a lot of pressure on the edges. But hats off to Glencoe, because those guys played their tails off tonight.”
The teams combined for 872 yards, with the Yellow Jackets accounting for 416.
The contest reached overtime due to a wild fourth quarter that saw the teams combine for 38 points and five touchdowns.
With CCHS nursing a 24-17 lead entering the final eight minutes, Glencoe stopped the Indians on a fourth down and 4 conversion at the Yellow Jacket 32.
On the next play, the hosts tied the game on Stone’s 68-yard TD pass to Logan Guest at 10:58.
Colbert County responded on the next play from scrimmage when Carpenter reeled off a 64-yard TD run at 10:39 to make it 31-24 in favor of the visitors.
Two plays and 42 seconds later, Glencoe tied it at 31-31 courtesy of Stone’s 23-yard scoring strike to Pace Ozmint with 9:57 left. The touchdown was set up by a 42-yard run by Thomas Ozmint.
The Indians then put together a 10-play, 75-yard possession that culminated in Tyler Jeffrey’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Tobias Quails and a 38-31 advantage.
Glencoe took over at their own 35 with 4:50 on the clock. Stone passed to Will Parker fro eight yards on a fourth and 1 at the GHS 41 kept the series alive.
Stone’s 17-yard pass to Dalton Roberts on a third-and-10 moved the ball to the CCHS 17.
The Yellow Jackets eventually arrived at the Indian 5-yard line, where on a first and goal Stone scored on a keeper and Bright kicked the PAT to make it 38-38 with 18.6 seconds left.
Colbert County took a 24-17 lead on Carpenter’s 12-yard touchdown run at the 7:26 mark of the third quarter.
Thomas Ozmint rushed for 131 yards on 18 carries, while Stone ran 15 times for 95 yards and two scores.
Stone completed 12-of-20 passes for 190 yards and four touchdowns.
“When you get to this level of the playoffs, you’re going to run into some powerful offenses, and we’ve got one. We’ve got two great backs in Dylan and Thomas, and they did very well tonight. When [Colbert County] put eight in the box [on defense], Dylan was accurate to throw some very accurate balls, and our wide receivers made some good catches all night.”
Pace Ozmint had four receptions for 88 yards and three touchdowns, while Logan Guest caught two passes for 80 and a score.
Taylor Daugherty and Pace Ozmint each had 14 tackles, followed by Mason Brown with 11 and Parker with nine.
The Indians opened the scoring on Mendoza’s 37-yard field goal at 5:41 of the first quarter.
Stone’s 14-yard TD pass to Pace Ozmint made it a 7-3 Glencoe lead at 2:28. The Jackets padded their advantage to 10-3 on Bright’s 30-yard field goal at 10:39 of the second period.
Stone’s 43-yard touchdown run at 5:44 made it 17-3, but CCHS forced a 17-17 tie at halftime by way of Carpenter’s 52-yard TD run at 4:32 and a touchdown off a blocked punt with 1:57 left before the half.
“That’s not the reason we lost, but it wasn’t a blocked kick,” said Ozmint. “He tackled our kicker as he was punting. There also were some questionable pass interference calls that should have been called and weren’t [called], but we overcame that adversity.”
For the Indians, Tyler Jeffreys was 5-of-11 in passing for 57 yards, all to Tobias Quails.
Lorenzo Madden finished with nine tackles, while Tyler Lott had eight.
“Week in and week out, we prove how much heart we have,” said Ozmint. “In spite of the mistakes we make and the things we do wrong, we do a whole lot of things right. This group of seniors (Houston Word, Logan Guest, Brandon Macon, Taylor Daugherty, Kyle Johnson, Ty Minshew, Garrett Pentecost, Luke Mackey, Brant Schomburg, Luke Betterton, Chase Livingston, Dawson Brown and Tyler Johnson) is one of the best I’ve ever coached. It was a small group but a really special one. The play with grit and character and do everything that’s asked of them. They overcame adversity and led us through some tough times this year, and whatever success we have next year, you can trace a lot of it back to these seniors. But I really wanted to do it this year for this group of seniors because of how much they mean to this team and to this program.”