Bulldogs one-up Wildcats

Published 11:51 pm Friday, September 27, 2013

King's Fork High School sophomore feature back Deshaun Wethington runs in the two-point conversion that ended a double-overtime thriller on Friday night against visiting Great Bridge High School. Wethington's 104-yard rushing performance helped fuel the Bulldogs' 44-43 victory. (Danny Haymond photo)

King’s Fork High School sophomore feature back Deshaun Wethington runs in the two-point conversion that ended a double-overtime thriller on Friday night against visiting Great Bridge High School. Wethington’s 104-yard rushing performance helped fuel the Bulldogs’ 44-43 victory. (Danny Haymond photo)

The King’s Fork High School football team found itself in a shootout on Friday night at home against Great Bridge High School, and in the end, a game that featured six lead changes all came down to one point.

KF sophomore feature back Deshaun Wethington produced another 100-yard rushing performance, but it was his last few yards on a two-point conversion in double overtime that gave the Bulldogs a hard-fought 44-43 victory.

“It came down to one play and great effort by the kids,” King’s Fork head coach Joe Jones said. “Great overall team effort by the kids. They just didn’t quit. They just kept grinding.”

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He said it was a particularly thrilling victory after King’s Fork lost its lead last week against Grassfield High School. The same happened on Friday against the Wildcats, but the Bulldogs fought back.

They took an early 7-0 lead off a 32-yard touchdown run by Wethington, but then the Wildcats showed some significant resistance, benefiting from a Bulldogs fumble to put up back-to-back touchdowns and go up 14-7.

Great Bridge worked at a dizzying pace all night with its up-tempo offense generating 349 yards total.

Later in the second quarter, Wethington struck again on a 15-yard scoring run, and King’s Fork seemed content to tie the game when an offsides call on Great Bridge changed the game plan. The normal offensive unit came in, and Wethington added on two more for a 15-14 lead the Bulldogs ended up taking into halftime.

The Wildcats came bursting out of the gate in the second half, scoring on a 33-yard pass-and-run to regain the lead.

Another King’s Fork fumble seemed to give Great Bridge an opportunity to start pulling away, but its offense could not get anywhere.

More solid running by Wethington, sophomore fullback Notorious Brown and junior slotback Duke Santora helped set up a 31-yard touchdown run by junior slotback TyQuan Weston, giving the Bulldogs a 22-21 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Great Bridge returner decided to let the ball go, but accidentally made contact, and the Bulldogs jumped on it, instantly gaining possession at the Wildcats 1-yard line. Wethington bridged the gap and suddenly the Bulldogs were up 29-21.

King’s Fork head coach Joe Jones said his team had been spending extra time on special teams after weakness in that area of the game contributed to the loss against Grassfield.

The work showed when the Bulldogs unexpectedly executed an onside kick on the next play and recovered it. The opportunity was there for the home team to begin pulling away, but they could not take advantage of it.

The teams traded possessions, and then Great Bridge ran its way to a touchdown and two-point conversion to knot the game at 29.

Both teams had multiple offensive opportunities to get the last score in regulation, but neither could get in the end zone or within field goal range.

Overtime rules stipulate each team gets a possession, starting from the opposing team’s 10-yard line. King’s Fork got the ball first and senior quarterback Uriah Adams scored quickly on a 10-yard run.

The Wildcats lost some yardage on their possession, but then responded with a 15-yard touchdown pass. Per the rules, Great Bridge got the first possession in the second overtime and converted on an 11-yard reception to go up 43-36. The Wildcats generated 134 yards through the air for the game.

In the final possession of the game, Adams scored on a 1-yard run, and Wethington ended the thriller with his deciding two-point conversion run.

“(Deshaun) did a great job making a move making a guy miss and getting into the end zone,” Jones said.

Wethington carried the ball 24 times for 104 yards, three touchdowns and two 2-point conversions. Adams had 12 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns, and Weston ended up with eight carries for 68 yards.

The Bulldogs offense produced 289 yards on the ground and 62 passing.

King’s Fork (3-1, 2-1) will host Indian River High School next Friday, marking the only time the Bulldogs will play back-to-back home games during the regular season.