Hunters Lane held off a furious Overton rally to win 25-22 and maintained its hold on first place in the District 12-AAA football race.
An 82-yard TD run by Deandre Porter early in the final quarter Thursday night sparked the Warriors to a 25-7 lead before Overton came storming back. Porter was the fourth different Hunters Lane player to score a TD.
Bobcats' Tez Humphrey, who went over the 1,000-yard mark rushing during the game, scored his second TD of the game and 18th of the season on a 10-yard run. That, plus a two-point pass from Christian Dobbs pulled Overton to within 25-15.
After Overton got the ball back, Chris Dansby caught a 12-yard TD pass from Dobbs and suddenly Overton was within 25-22.
Suddenly, the Warriors, who seemed to be on cruise control early in the fourth quarter, tried to turn things over to their defense, led by Joseph Wilbert, who intercepted his fifth pass of the season and almost had another one with a near pick in the end zone.
Wilbert also recovered an onsides kick with 1:56 left.
“The coaches have me in there because I have good hands,’’ Wilbert said. “On the interception, I just made a good break on the ball. We came through after some adversity and showed what we’re made of.’’
Yet, even with Wilbert’s recovery, Hunters Lane couldn’t run the clock out. A crucial delay of game penalty, followed by a fumble, recovered by Andrew Montgomery, put Overton in business at the Bobcat 45 with 50 seconds left.
Two Dobbs' completions got the ball to the Warriors’ 23 with 11 seconds left. After he was sacked, a holding penalty on Hunters Lane moved the ball back to the 25, but a 42-yard game-tying field goal attempt fell just short as the final buzzer went off.
“The referees did mark the penalty off, but it was from the spot where Christian was sacked,’’ said coach Terry Anderson. “I’m not saying they were wrong, but that seems to defeat the spirit of the rule. It should be marked off from the original line of scrimmage.’’
It didn't look early like it would come down to a field goal attempt. Touchdowns runs by DeMarco Starling and Joshua McCord gave Hunters Lane a 13-7 halftime lead. Kenneth Williams added a 36-yard run in the third quarter.
“I like our team’s heart and fight,’’ said Hunters Lane Coach Richard Campbell. “We had some real mistakes we made late in the game and that’s on me.’’
Antioch’s stunning 14-13 loss to Glencliff Thursday left Hunters Lane (6-2, 4-0) as the only unbeaten team left in district play.
Overton (6-2, 2-2) lost its second straight game, but still appears in good shape to make the playoffs. The Bobcats will be heavily favored in their final two games against Cane Ridge and Hillwood.
“If we win our last two games, we should be in good shape, at least for a wild card spot,’’ Anderson said.