Southampton Indians win in second overtime 17-14

Published 10:18 am Monday, October 14, 2013

The Southampton Indians hold their helmets high after winning their first game of the season. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

The Southampton Indians hold their helmets high after winning their first game of the season. — CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

COURTLAND—As the minutes were winding down in the fourth quarter, the Southampton players on the sideline were pepping each other up, declaring that they were still in it.

The score was 14-7. There was approximately three minutes left in the game. Southampton had just driven the ball to around the 30 yard line. After driving within 5 of the first down, a couple of rushes went no where, and the coaches decided to go for it on fourth down with about 5 to go.

The hand off was to Devine Fenner, who took the ball to around the 20 yard line. The referees called for the measuring chains, and the football was inches short. The coaches on the sideline burst in anger about the spot, while the offense stormed off the field, heated about the call.

The defense went out ready, however. It was a defense that had stopped the Greensville Eagles from scoring since the first quarter. They were going to do it again.

After forcing a three and out, the Indians returned the ball to around mid field. After fumbling near the goal line near halftime, Russell Ballance was put back into the game, as his backup had been put in for much of the second half. Ballance responded and completed a 32-yard pass to Jaquan Myrick.

On the next play, with a minute and change left in the game, the hand-off was to Fenner, who took the ball all the way in for 6 points. After Ballance hit the extra point kick, the game was tied at 14.

On the next Greensville possession, Tyrick Mason caught an interception, and a penalty brought back his tackle-breaking run to the endzone.

After a Ballance quarterback keeper, the Indians were unable to get set quick enough to spike the ball and stop the clock, so they could take a shot at the endzone. Instead, the game was going to overtime.

The Indians had it first during overtime, and after making it close to the endzone, a penalty pushed them back and they turned the ball over on downs.

After getting within a yard of a score, a fumble pushed Greensville back, and the Eagles botched the snap on the kick to win the game and failed to rush it in, turning the ball over on downs.

In the second overtime period, Greensville would start with the ball at the 10 yard line. After bringing it in to the one yard line, the Southampton defense came up big and pushed them back, tackling them for a loss as the Eagles went for it on fourth down.

Special teams came out immediately for the Indians. The snap was good, and Ballance pushed it through the uprights for the win.

“I think this was a monumental win for this program,” head coach Willie Gillus Jr. said after the game. “Especially winning it on a goal line stand. Our defense played really tough.

“In the end, some kids that we have counted on played tough and really came through. This was a great win for the program.”

On the ground, Southampton rushed for 353 yards on 43 attempts. Jaquan Ryland took 21 of them for a total of 205 yards. Ryland scored the first touchdown for the Indians early in the second quarter.

“We had three or four of them tonight that stayed with us the whole game,” Gillus said. “I’m just proud of them. They did a good job.”

Ballance was 3-3 passing and threw for 55 yards. He also kicked the two extra points and the game winning field goal. Ballance, also the punter, pinned the Eagles deep a few times, which helped the defense.

Chris Lawrence, a senior linebacker, led the way on defense with 8 tackles. After the Eagles went up 14-0 in the first quarter, the defense held Greensville scoreless the rest of the game.

“It was just a great effort on defense,” Gillus said.

Southampton moves to 1-5 on the season.