Springwood battles Cornerstone in thrilling overtime finish
Published 11:44 pm Friday, September 15, 2023
The thriller between Springwood and Cornerstone Christian had to end. Unfortunately, it was the Wildcats coming out on the losing end of the instant classic.
Luke Hudson connected with CJ Johnson for the 15-yard completion to give Springwood a 42-36 lead in overtime. Johnson ran in for what looked to be the successful 2-point conversion. The play was called back for a holding penalty. After being backed up, Jacob Burton missed the extra point attempt.
“I feel like you’ve got to let players decide the game, not the officials at that point and time,” Head Coach Joey Burch said. “You keep the flag in your pocket at that point and time, and let the players decide the game.”
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Springwood had to make a stop in overtime. Instead, Zeke Adams rushed in for the touchdown from three yards out. Adams converted on the 2-point conversion, and the Chargers left with a 44-42 win in overtime.
Adams led the Chargers at quarterback — finishing with five touchdowns. Buch knew coming into the game that Adams would be hard to stop.
“He’s a great athlete,” Burch said. “He scrambles around, he does a lot of things well.”
After each offense only totaled 8 points in the first half, both teams exploded in the last two quarters.
After the Chargers took the lead to start the second half, Greg Johnson returned the onside kick 52 yards for the touchdown. It was all fireworks from then on out. Johnson added one more touchdown in the second half on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Luke Hudson.
Springwood took the lead for the first time on a 10-yard rushing touchdown from Dylan Reeves with 6:40 left in the fourth quarter.
Despite being down for most of the game, Burch was pleased with the way his players fought.
“I’m proud of them, every single one of them,” Burch said. “Both teams fought it out, and that’s why we play it. It was a great game, great atmosphere.”
It was a back-and-forth first half for Springwood. The Wildcats’ first play from scrimmage resulted in a penalty. On the very next play, Hudson’s pass was intercepted.
Cornerstone capitalized on the turnover as they connected on a 40-yard touchdown pass. After a successful 2-point conversion, the Chargers led 8-0 with 7:28 left in the first quarter.
The Wildcats ended their scoring drought as their dynamic running back, CJ Johnson, lined up in the wildcat and rushed for a 5-yard touchdown. Johnson converted on the 2-point conversion and the game was all tied up at eight with 8:37 left in the second quarter.
The rest of the half was a game of missed opportunities. On its next drive, Springwood started on their own one-yard line. The Wildcats went 89 yards before Hudson’s fumble was recovered by Cornerstown at their 11.
The Chargers fumbled on the ensuing drive, and Springwood took over on Cornerstone’s 31 with just a few plays left before the end of the first half. The Wildcats ran out of time as Greg Johnson was tackled just short of the endzone, and the game remained tied at halftime. Springwood left a lot of points on the board in the first half.
“We made way too many mental errors and mistakes in the first quarter,” Burch said.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 4-1 on the season. Up next for Springwood is a matchup with Southern Christian on the road.
“We’re going to go to work,” Burch said.