Warriors win in triple overtime
Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 10, 2002
Dearnta Thomas threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Newsome to clinch a 13-6, triple-overtime victory Saturday. The pass gave Thomas, Newsome, and the rest of the Bennett’s Creek Pop Warner midget team a win over the Pfafftown Packers in regional competition at Nansemond River High School. The Warriors, who won their second consecutive South-eastern championship with a 10-0 regular season record, will head to Wilmington, N.C. on Nov. 28 for a chance to play at the national championships.
With 15 seconds to play in the first half, Jamar White intercepted a Packer pass at the Warrior 42. On first down, Thomas passed to Charles Sanders for no gain, and the clock appeared to run out. But the officials ruled the BC had called timeout before the time expired, and Thomas hurled a 58-yard bomb to Dexter Demiel to end the first half ahead 6-0.
The Packers spent the entire third quarter driving toward the Warrior goal, as Michael Rucker, Justin Freeman, and Jaq’uez Canty repeatedly charged through the middle of the Bennetts Creek line. White snatched the ball from Canty at the Warrior 17 with 8:29 to play, but Tim Harris broke through to block a Warrior punt three plays later, giving the Packers the ball at the seven. Rucker charged thro-ugh the right side of the line on third down, and the score was tied.
Email newsletter signup
Quindel Nicholas returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards to his team’s 48, and a pair of face mask penalties bumped the Warriors all the way to the Packer eight. But the Pfaff-town defense pushed Bennetts Creek back three yards over the next three plays, and Demiel was stopped at the five on fourth down, sending the game to overtime.
In Pop Warner postseason games, the overtime periods are played as follows: each team begins at the 10-yard line, and has four downs to score. If they fumble the ball away or are intercepted, their possession ends.
Both teams lost fumbles on their first attempts, but a face mask penalty gave the Warriors a first down at the Packer five.
But Thomas was tackled for a three-yard loss, and his next two passes fell incomplete. On fourth down, the Packers blocked a Tyrell Graham field goal to hold the Warriors scoreless.
Rucker dashed to the Warrior two on first down, but Nicholas stole a Packer fumble on the next play. After Bennetts Creek was knocked five yards back by a delay of game penalty, Thomas faded toward the left sideline on first down.
&uot;I wanted to draw the defense to me, and away from my receivers,&uot; he said. In the end zone, Newsome had a step on his shorter defender.
Thomas lobbed a pass toward Newsome, and the receiver leaped high into the air to snare it with his hands.
&uot;Once the ball was in the air, I had to turn all the way around to catch it,&uot; said Newsome. &uot;It was hard, because (the Packers) were playing really tough defense.&uot; Demiel ran for the extra point, extending the lead to 13-6.
Rucker carried twice for four yards, and an offsides penalty moved the Packers to the Warrior three. On third down, Trae Bowles broke through to tackle Freeman for no gain.
&uot;That offsides was on me, so I didn’t want it to be my fault if they scored,&uot; said Bowles. &uot;We knew they were going up the middle, so I pushed the guard down and grabbed him by the legs.&uot;
On fourth down, Rucker charged toward the right side of the line. But Thomas was there to greet him.
&uot;I knew they’d hand off to him,&uot; said Thomas, &uot;so I just met him and hit him.&uot; Rucker fell short of the goal line, giving the Warriors the game.