Gutsy call gives Tuscola dramatic winMyers scores final touchdown and adds two-point conversion with 2:17 left
After Friday night, nobody will accuse Tuscola Head Coach Brandon Allen of not going for broke to win a football game.
With 2:17 left, the Mountaineers’ Bryce Myers ran over the left end for a 15-yard touchdown to bring the Mountaineers within a point of visiting East Rutherford’s lead, 21-20.
However, Coach Allen didn’t hesitate and kept his offense on the field to go for the win with a two-point conversion and a dramatic come-from-behind win.
It paid off as Myers was again called once more to deliver and the junior used incredible will, breaking two tackles before falling into the end zone to give Tuscola a thrilling 22-21 non-conference victory over the Cavaliers at C.E. Weatherby Stadium.
Tuscola improves to 2-1 overall, while the Cavaliers drop to 0-3 on the season. The Mountaineers are idle next Friday before traveling to Swain County on Friday, Sept. 20 in their final non-conference game of the season.
Tuscola took the game’s first possession and marched it down the field on a nine-play, 71-yard drive, culminating in a Myers’ 12-yard TD run. Logan Lambert added the extra point to give the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead with 7:33 remaining on the clock. In that first drive, senior quarterback Woody Cornwell was 2-of-2 for 26 yards. Both his completions were hauled in by Adam Chambers.
East Rutherford, however, tied the game in the second quarter on a nine-play drive of their own, starting from the Cavaliers’ 23. Quarterback Austin Hollifield did much of the damage with a rush for 32 yards and scored on a nine-yard run. After the PAT the Cavaliers and Mountaineers were tied at 7 midway through the second quarter.
A Tuscola fumble, which was recovered by the Cavs at the Mountaineers’ 34 with just 1:12 remaining in the first half, set up the go-ahead touchdown for the visitors.
The Cavaliers needed only six plays to score when Kameron Garrison snuck over from the two with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Harrison Wilkerson’s PAT gave East Rutherford a 14-7 halftime lead.
Late in the third quarter, Tuscola junior Houston McCracken capped a 55-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run and Lambert split the uprights on the PAT to tie the game at 14 with 2:10 left.
But on the ensuing possession, East Rutherford marched 80 yards in 13-plays as D.J. Miller capped the nine-minute drive with a 12-yard TD run with 8:47 left in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers led, 21-14.
But Tuscola simply rode Myers in the ensuing game-winning drive that took 14 plays and more than six minutes off the clock. The junior rushed eight times for 72 yards before scoring on a 15-yard rush and adding the two-point conversion with 2:17 left.
Once ahead, the Mountaineers needed the defense to step up and stop East Rutherford’s offense.
They got it when Tuscola defensive back Cody Wood stepped in front of Hollifield’s pass and returned it to the Cavaliers’ 28 to seal the deal.
Tuscola out-rushed East Rutherford, 193-127. Myers finished with 112 yards on the ground, while McCracken had 45 yards and senior Ben Greene gained 40 yards rushing.
Cornwell was 8-of-11 for 68 yards for the Mountaineers. Chambers had those two first quarter receptions, Green caught a pair of his passes for 18 yards, Damon McDaniels grabbed two passes for 11 yards and freshman Michael Parrott had two catches for 13 yards.