PARIS – Three crucial plays that went against Paris during regulation and then having the Coyotes falling 1-yard short of reaching a first down to keep their drive alive in overtime Friday allowed Schuyler County to come away with a 28-20 football victory in overtime at Warbritton Field in Paris.
The Rams from Lancaster scored on its first possession of overtime on what arguably appeared to be a questionable call on a fourth down and goal situation. Wyatt Homer rushed the football a couple of yards reaching near the goal line and appeared to have had his left knee down and would stretch his arm forward.
The football rolled out of his hands and lineman Coy Farley fell on it in the end zone for a score. The Paris coaching staff on the sidelines unsuccessfully pleaded with game officials about the call. Schuyler County went on to convert the 2-point run.
Paris would also be facing a fourth down situation on their possession in overtime but the catch by Nick Painter of 13 yards reaching the 6 was 1-yard shy of a first down and Schuyler County (2-6, 2-5 LCC) held on for the Lewis & Clark Conference win.
Schuyler County collected about 335 total yards of offense, with 150 coming from its passing scheme. Quarterback Riley Veatch completed 7 of 21 passes for 94 yards. Running back Easton Kerby rushed six times for a gain of 101 yards, and senior ball carrier Wyatt Homer rushed for 75 yards on 20 carries.
“There were three big plays tonight that just really hurt us but the two big ones was us fumbling the football at the 1 and on the next play Schuyler County runs the ball 99 yards for a touchdown. You can't win ball games doing things like that,” said Paris football coach Gary Crusha. “We talked to our guys at halftime that we shot ourselves in the foot in that first half to where we could be up by two or three touchdowns instead of us being behind 12-6 at that time.”
Two of the big plays that haunted his team coach Crusha alluded to about happened within about 30-seconds from one another. The Coyotes were on the prowl for pay dirt in the second quarter and were en route to putting together a 53-yard scoring drive to increase their lead by two touchdowns when Paris sophomore running back Kaison Berrey coughed up the football at the Rams 1 and Schuyler County pounced on it to take possession.
Schuyler County's offense was in a Power – I formation with the first snap of the football when Kerby took the handoff running to his right and jetted off along the Rams sidelines for a 99-yard touchdown that tied the score 6-6 with 5:32 left in the second quarter.
The other one arrived just minutes before halftime, a double-pass play from Schuyler County senior quarterback Veatch to Kerby, and then the junior tailback finding receiver Cody Amen alone down field with Kerby's pass resulting in a 56-yard touchdown to allow the Rams go up 12-6 with 3:30 left before the break.
The only first half score by the Coyotes took place when Paris scored on its second possession with a 32-yard run up the middle by senior running back Brandon Williams with 3:19 left.
“It's been a tough season. We've been playing mostly with 12 kids all year and the most we've played with was 14 before injuries got to us. Most of our team consists of freshmen and sophomores. We lack some execution because we're playing a lot of younger kids. But this team certainly is not lacking effort and they compete very hard,” Crusha said.
Paris, complete having just 16 players in uniform with 10 of them on the field nearly playing every snap of the football, fought back trailing 20-6 in the fourth quarter by reaching the end zone twice to force overtime.
The Coyotes executed a 65-yard scoring drive capped by senior quarterback Breck Hancock's 7-yard touchdown run up the middle at 8:30, and then with about two minutes left Schuyler County elected to attempt a 26-yard field goal but junior Andrew Young of Paris busted through the line to block the kick. The football was scooped up by Kaison Berrey and the sophomore Coyote returned it 12 yards to give the home team on Senior Night some hope.
Berrey would make a spectacular leaping catch on a pass play from Hancock that netted 50 yards, freshman Reese Barton made a reception for a gain of 12 yards and later Hancock threw a rainbow pass that found Brandon Williams in the southwest corner of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown at 1:09. A 2-point conversion to Young tied the score at 20-20 that held through regulation.
Paris quarterback Hancock completed 15 of 27 passes for 179 yards ad one score. Williams caught six of his passes that totaled 57 yards. Berrey made four catches for a gain of 28 yards. Both Nick Painter and Barton had two receptions for 43 and 17 yards respectively.
Leading rusher for the Coyotes was Berrey with 76 yards on 15 carries. Williams provided 39 rushing yards and Hancock had 31.
Paris (2-6, 2-5 LCC) wraps up its regular season schedule with a trip to Huntsville next Friday to battle Westran, and Schuyler County will travel a little farther to compete at Salisbury.