After trailing by 14 points, the East Hall Vikings came back from behind twice to win Friday night’s game over the West Hall Spartans 28-27 in overtime.
The Vikings (3-4, 1-3 Region 7-AAA) were down 20-6 in the third quarter and trailed the Spartans (2-5, 1-3) by a touchdown in overtime.
“We played a very well-coached, well-disciplined West Hall team tonight, and we were fortunate to be able to pull that one out,” Vikings coach Bryan Gray said.
The Vikings took a risk and went for two on the final possession of overtime and converted on a run by senior running back Austin Mahaffey run to win the game.
“We knew we were going to go for the two-point conversion when we went to overtime,” Gray said. “We already knew the play we would run. All we had to do was put the ball in the end zone so we could try.”
The scoring began early in the second quarter when East Hall quarterback Devin Watson threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Mahaffey to make the score 6-0 after a failed PAT.
West Hall struck back with five minutes remaining in the half when junior quarterback Zach English threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Atkinson to tie the game 6-6.
West Hall would score again before the end of the half with another touchdown pass from English. On a busted play from 10 yards out, English threw a pass to Chase Jarrard in the back of the end zone. The Spartans took a 13-6 lead into halftime.
The Spartans would keep the momentum going in the second half, scoring on their first possession on a 3-yard run by Isiah Rowe to make the score 20-6.
The Vikings cut the deficit in half when they scored on a 5-yard pass from Zach Groover to Junior Lee in the back of the end zone with one minute remaining in the third quarter to make the score 20-12.
East Hall would score again with five minutes remaining in regulation by an Edward Vergara run from 2 yards out. The Vikings would try for two again and convert when Milton Whelchel ran the reverse and scored to tie the game 20-20.
Both East and West Hall would have shots to end the game in regulation but time expired in regulation and the game went into overtime.
West Hall had the first possession and put the ball in the end zone on a Rowe 5-yard run to make the score 27-20.
East Hall put the ball in the end zone on their possession on another Vergara rush, this one from 3 yards. The Vikings went for two and succeeded on the Mahaffey run.
Mahaffey gave the credit to the offensive line. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to have the game I had or even have the chance to score that two points,” he said.
Next week, the Vikings will travel to Homer to take on Banks County in another 8-AAA matchup. The Spartans play host to the North Hall next Friday.