Newton takes 7-6 thriller over Hornets in overtime
SURE STOP – Lake's Paul Burrage is tackled by Newton's Montez Moore after a pass reception and nice gain. Newton High School's Justin Gibbs (75) closes in on the play. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Aug. 30, 2002
LAKE For four quarters Thursday night, Newton and Lake took turns showing signs of promise only to come away empty as neither crossed the goalline in regulation.
It would take only five plays in overtime to decide the winner as Newton claimed a 7-6 victory on Zack Logan's extra point in the season opener for both teams.
Lake got the ball first in the extra period and needed only one play to score as junior tailback Damion Gray bulled his way 10 yards into the end zone. The extra point attempt sailed wide right following a bad snap, leaving the door open for the Tigers.
After nearly being intercepted on first down, Newton quarterback Laderrian Blaylock hit 6-foot-5 Coshune Bingham in the left corner of the end zone on a perfectly thrown fade pattern for a 6-6 tie. Logan then booted the game-winning extra point.
Newton outgained Lake 255-137 in total yardage. The Tigers ran the ball 36 times for 120 yards and were 11-of-24 passing for 135 yards. The Hornets had 33 rushes for 120 yards and completed only 1-of-11 passes for 17 yards.
Blaylock was 11-of-23 passing for 135 yards with one interception. He teamed with tight end Austin Bonds four times for 68 yards. Logan and Bingham both had three catches for 33 yards apiece. Blaylock ran the ball 14 times for 24 yards. Travaone Evans had five carries for 35 yards with Cornelius Caraway gaining 42 yards on a dozen rushes.
Gray was the offensive highlight for the Hornets as he had 120 yards on 15 carries. Joseph Hunt was 1-of-10 passing for 17 yards with one interception. Hunt gained 14 yards on six rushes.
Both teams had scoring chances in regulation, but neither was able to produce. On its second possession, Newton drove to the Lake 31 only to lose a fumble. Lake then put together a 10-play drive from its 27 to the Tiger 15 where a bad snap spoiled Williamson's bid for a 31-yard field goal.
Newton reached the Hornet 39 in the second quarter, but Blaylock was tackled for a yard loss on third-and-4 and threw an incompletion on fourth down.
Gray raced 28 yards to the Tiger 32 to put the Hornets in business late in the first half. Three plays netted only a yard before Hunt's fourth-and-9 pass was picked off by Evans.
Newton began its first possession of the second half at midfield and reached the Lake 13 before stalling. The big play on the drive was a 23-yard toss from Blaylock to Bonds. Logan's bid for a 32-yard field goal failed.
On their final series in regulation, the Tigers drove from their 24 to the Lake 21 where Lucas Poole's 46-yard field goal attempt was well short in the final seconds of regulation.
Both punters factored into the regulation shutout. Poole had five punts for a 32.8 yard average, while Lake's Willie Hickmon had seven kicks for a 32.1 yard average.