Indians survive scare; Down Frankfort 26-23 in OT
Berkeley Springs traveled to Ridgley on Friday, September 21, for a showdown with longtime rival Frankfort. The Indians rolled the dice in overtime and escaped with a three-point victory, 26-23.
After Frankfort kicked a successful 22-yard field goal in overtime to take a 23-20 lead, Berkeley Springs, facing a fourth down from inside the Falcon one yard line, decided to forgo the tie and go for the win. Cody Reed, who had 151 yards rushing, took the handoff from Matt Colwell and leaped into the end zone for the win.
"We didn't really think it was that much of gamble," said Berkeley Springs coach Angelo Luvara. "We have a good, veteran offensive line and two of the best backs in the state. It was more of a calculated decision than a gamble. Not only that, but if you have an opportunity to win in overtime when you have the last possession, you want to take advantage of it since you will have to go on offense first in the next overtime period. That gives the other team a little bit of an advantage since they know what they have to do."
Berkeley Springs didn't take long to get on the scoreboard as Sam Byrne took the opening kickoff back 85 yards, to give the Indians a 6-0 lead with just seconds into the game. For the speedster Byrne, it was his third kickoff return for a touchdown this season.
Frankfort responded with a nine-play 58-yard drive, capped of by a 15-yard touchdown by tailback Patrick Marchetti. The Falcons added the extra point for a 7-6 lead with still 6:45 remaining on the first-quarter clock.
It looked like it was going to turn into a track meet as the Indians marched 68 yards on the ensuing possession to regain the lead. Hess scored the go-ahead touchdown from two yards out and Josh Wise added the extra point, giving Berkeley Springs a 13-7 lead at the 2:08 mark of the first quarter.
Reed then padded the Indian lead when he scored from 44 yards out with just under nine minutes left in the opening half. Wise's extra point attempt was true and Berkeley Springs had a 20-7 lead.
Neither team was able to sustain a drive for the remainder of the half and the Indians headed to the intermission with a 13-point lead.
Frankfort received the second half kickoff and marched 57 yards to cut the deficit to 20-13. It was a little bit of "trickeration" that got the Falcons their second touchdown of the game. Tailback Marchetti took a handoff, pulled up and hit Willie Smith from on a 22-yard halfback option pass. The extra point was no good and the score remained 20-13.
"I thought our defense played well, except for a couple of big plays they gave up," Luvara said. "Fifteen of their running plays went for no yards or negative yards, but they caught us napping a couple of times. We have to prevent the mental lapses like that if we are going to be a good team. It is something we will have to correct."
The Indian's next mental lapse of the second half came after a bad snap on a punt, gave the Falcons the ball at the Berkeley Springs 44 yard line. Another trick play fooled the Indian defense. Marchetti, who was involved in all three of Frankfort's touchdowns, took a handoff on a double reverse and sprinted down the sideline for a 44-yard touchdown with 6:06 remaining in the third quarter. The extra point was good, tying the game at 20-20.
Neither team was able to score for the remainder of regulation, though both had their opportunities.
Frankfort drove to the Berkeley Springs eight yard line, but turned the ball over on a fumble, while the Indians had a pass picked off inside the ten yard line late in the fourth quarter.
With neither team able to muster any points in the final quarter-and-a- half, the game went into overtime, knotted at 20-20.
Frankfort got the ball first, starting at the Berkeley Springs 10 yard line. They were unable to cross the goal line and settled for a 22-yard field goal to take a 23-20 lead.
A penalty on the final play of regulation against Berkeley Springs was assessed on the Indians, and instead of starting on the Frankfort 10 yard line, their offensive series began at the Falcon 20 yard line.
They methodically moved the ball down the field, getting an initial first down on a fourth down run from Reed, before being stopped and kicking a 25-yard field goal to tie the game at 23-23. However, a roughing the kicker call gave the Indians a chance to win the game in the first overtime period and they took advantage of the opportunity when Reed crashed into the end zone on fourth and goal from inside the one yard line.
"We didn't play our best game, but we won, Luvara said. "Frankfort never really stopped our offense; we were our own worst enemy, although, I thought the officiating was terrible. We have some time off to iron out a few things and let some people heal up. I think the bye week came at a very good time."Berkeley Springs was penalized ten times, while Frankfort was only flagged for three infractions.
The Indians won't return to action until Friday, October 5, when they host the Moorefield Yellow Jackets.
Berkeley Springs is 5-0 heading into the bye week and will likely retain their top ranking in Class AA.
First Downs 22 11
Rushing 50-308 50-198
Passing 4-12-40-1int 2-4-32
Total Yards 62-348 54-230
Individual Rushing - Hess, 26-156-1td; Reed, 21-151-2td; Matt Colwell, 4-12
Receiving - JT Thomas, 2-30; Reed, 2-10