JV play: Mount Tabor regroups, tops Parkland in triple overtime

JV play: Mount Tabor regroups, tops Parkland in triple overtime
October 29
00:00 2015

Above: Mount Tabor’s Thomas Brabham (2) proved himself as a dual-threat quarterback last week with timely scrambles and three touchdown passes. 
(Photo by Craig T. Greenlee)

Nobody could have predicted what transpired between Mount Tabor and Parkland in JV football last Thursday night. The two teams battled to a stalemate after four quarters of regulation play. But it was the resilient Spartans who finally prevailed with a heart-stopping 22-16 victory in triple overtime.

Mount Tabor (5-3) delivered the eventual game-winner on Thomas Brabham’s 5-yard touchdown pass on third down to Jalan Moore on a fade route in the right corner of the end zone. Parkland attempted to come up with the equalizer, but fell short when Cameron Payne of the Spartans intercepted a Cam Register pass in the end zone to seal the win.

“What a game this was,” said Coach Tiesuan Brown of Mount Tabor. “I am so thankful for our defense. Parkland came at us strong, but we were able to keep them off the board in the second half. This was a great team win for us.”

The final minute of play in regulation provided more than enough anxiety and suspense for the crowd on hand at Deaton-Thompson Stadium. Mount Tabor appeared to be in excellent position to secure the win in the closing seconds, but the Mustangs had other ideas.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of this contest was the bizarre three-play sequence that forced OT. Here’s what happened.

With less than five seconds left to play, the Spartans Noe Jimenez lined up for a 28-yard field goal, which was blocked by Parkland’s Savion Hayes. The Mustangs were penalized for being offside, which gave Jimenez another shot, this time from 23 yards. Hayes smothered the kick again, but his team was flagged again for another offside infraction.

On the third try, this one from 19 yards out, Hayes came through with his third block and teammate Devon Rucker picked up the loose ball and ran 55 yards before caught from behind by Payne of Mount Tabor. Rucker was tackled around the Spartans 20-yard line as time ran out to end the fourth quarter.

“This game was all about finishing and that’s something that we’ll continue to work on,” said Coach Lamont Atwater of Parkland. “This was the best that we’ve played all season. This team is proving that it can come together. With this loss, I look at our defense. If we don’t shut them out, then we don’t win.”
In the first overtime, the Mustangs seized the momentum right away when Blake Schutt stopped Mount Tabor’s Rodnique Godwin for no gain and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Parkland. Lee Kpogba scored what would’ve been the game-winning TD on an 8-yard run, but the play was called back because of a holding penalty. The drive ended when Mount Tabor’s Qumar Price intercepted a third-down pass.

The second OT proved is another case of missed opportunities for both teams. Parkland lost a fumble on second-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Mount Tabor returned the favor on its next offensive possession when Brabham fumbled and the Mustangs recovered, which set the stage for the third overtime.

Parkland (3-5) sent a strong message in the half that this was not going to be an easy game for Mount Tabor to win. Kpogba scored a touchdown on a 50-yard punt return in the first quarter to put the Mustangs on top. Jacque Roseboro zipped past Mount Tabor defenders on a nine-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Those two scores, along with successful PAT runs, put the Mustangs in command at 16-0 by the end of the half.

Mount Tabor managed to regroup in the second half. Late in the third quarter, Godwin scored on a two-yard touchdown run and Brabham threw a pass to Moore for the PAT to cut Parkland’s lead to 16-8. Six minutes later, Brabham fired a 9-yard scoring pass to Zyquez McMillian and then connected with Dashawn Jones on a PAT conversion pass to tie the game at 16-16 with 11:01 to go in the fourth quarter.

“Parkland showed us a lot of different formations and it took a while for us to figure things out,” said Brown. “In that first half, it was old school football. Their desire to run hard was greater than our willingness to tackle. I take my hat off to No. 23 [Devon Rucker] for Parkland. He ran hard all night long.

“For us, Jalan Moore came to play and we got a big game from John McClurkin, who was just awesome. Cameron Payne stepped in at linebacker and played great.”
This recent victory could prove to be costly for the Spartans in the closing weeks of the season. Both of their starters at running back were unable to finish the game. De’vante Legrande left with a leg injury in the first half and Godwin was sidelined in the first overtime with a high-ankle sprain.

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