Mt. Tabor stays undefeated on miracle last second play

Mt. Tabor Mr. versatile, Jaquan Albright, breaks an attempted tackle by the West Forsyth defender.

Mt. Tabor stays undefeated on miracle last second play
October 20
05:15 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



The Spartans of Mt. Tabor were facing their second undefeated team in a row when they took on West Forsyth last Thursday.  The week prior they dominated a quality Reynolds team and looked to do the same against the Titans.

The game was a tight fought battle down to the final seconds.  The game went back and forth throughout but West Forsyth had the ball on fourth down with less than 15 seconds on the clock. Instead of taking a knee and forcing Mt. Tabor to try and score from 85 yards away, West ran a play and the running back fumbled.  The ball was picked up by linebacker Lee Sales and ran back for the winning score as time expired and they celebrated with an improbable 20-17 victory.

Mike Lovelace, Mt. Tabor head coach, said the end of the game was an unbelievable feeling.  He says they have consistently gotten better on the field and more importantly in the classroom.

“Hats off to West Forsyth, they have a great football team and they did everything they needed to do to win,” said Lovelace.  “We had some key injuries and having to face some adversity with having three of our great offensive starters go down and that was a great strip at the end, but these kids have worked their rear ends off and they earned this.”

West Forsyth took the opening kickoff and moved the ball down the field using quick passes and effective running by tailback Malik Neal.  They capped off the drive with a touchdown pass from quarterback Jalen Ferguson to Trae Archie less than four minutes into the game.  Mt. Tabor looked to answer on their first drive but were stopped on fourth down.

Neal continued running well the entire first quarter and led them on another scoring drive that resulted in a field goal to give the Titans a 9-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Penalties contributed to the lack of offensive production for Mt. Tabor in the first and negated any momentum.

At the beginning of the second quarter, West Forsyth maintained their dominance in the ground game and the Spartans were still hampered by penalties.  They finally settled down and put together a confidence building drive following a West Forsyth fumble.  Spartan running back Jeremiah Jackson trimmed the lead to 9-7 by carrying two defenders into the end zone.

Toward the end of the half, Spartan quarterback Andrew Muse was intercepted by Morgan Young and returned for a touchdown.  The score was negated due to a block in the back penalty and they failed to score any points.  That penalty would prove to be costly as they only led 9-7 at the half.

Mt. Tabor came out of the half and immediately scored on their opening possession to take a 14-9 lead.  The Spartans looked to build on the lead but a fumble by running back Kamari Brooks gave possession back to the Titans.  West Forsyth capitalized on the turnover and took the lead back at 17-14.

The fourth quarter was a defensive battle where both units were very stout. Mt. Tabor was desperate for the equalizer but could not put together a scoring drive. The Titans had the ball with a little more than five minutes remaining and clinging to a three-point lead.  They maintained possession by converting crucial third downs and had a fourth down and short inside the Spartan red zone.  Instead of taking a knee the Titans decided to run a play which resulted in the strip and score that won the game.

Mt. Tabor defensive coordinator Tiesuan Brown said before the last play he told his guys “Don’t hang y’all heads. You’ve been making plays all day; make another one.’”

Coach Lovelace added, “It was just one of those things where we found a way to win. It’s Him upstairs, I guess.  When I called timeout, we said, ‘Guys, you gotta believe to the final horn’ and I’ve been preaching all year not to have the give up attitude.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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