Purchase Line beats United for first win
Saturday, October 13, 2012
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
ARMAGH - Whenever you're still looking for your first win in Week 7 of the season, going for it on fourth-and-1 deep inside your own territory is a no-brainer.
That was the case for first-year Purchase Line head football coach Brandon Overdorff, whose team was up 19-14 late in the third quarter of Friday's contest at United.
The Red Dragons, who led 19-0 before the Lions scored 14 unanswered points, had the ball at their 29, just inches shy of a first down.
Alec Sunderlin's quarterback sneak gave his team the first down, and Josh Huey busted off a big run on the ensuing play to put some distance between the teams that entered the game with zero wins between them.
Huey's 64-yard touchdown run was his third in the contest, and his final score followed in the early stages of the fourth quarter gave Purchase Line a 33-14 win.
"We had nothing to lose," said Overdorff of the decision to go for it on fourth down. "We've been frustrated to no end this season with the injuries and everything, and we were here to win. We never even thought twice about (punting in that situation)."
Huey finished the contest with 23 carries for 232 yards, while teammate Troy Klingensmith added 112 and a score on 17 totes as the Dragons outgained the Lions 365-81 in the contest.
Sunderlin attempted just one pass and spiked the ball to stop the clock late in the first half to account for the only other Purchase Line attempt in the contest.
"I think we came out with the mindset of the kind of football that we wanted to play - to pound the football with the running game," Overdorff said. "We had some success and that builds confidence. The kids responded for once, and that's what we've been waiting for.
"We've got some kids in there that played for the first time this year, but they responded and came out and played really well. I'm real tickled for the kids that we got our first win."
A pair of Huey touchdowns sandwiched Klingensmith's 44-yard scamper to paydirt, but United got momentum heading into the locker room on a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Warren Lowther.
Huey's second touchdown came with just 42 seconds remaining in the half, but Lowther broke free around the left sideline to put his team back into the contest just 15 seconds later.
The Lion defense forced a three-and-out on the first possession of the second half, and promptly marched 73 yards on 10 plays to pull to within five.
United's Doug Lavis, who led his team with 15 carries for 53 yards, capped the drive with a 17-yard run and Tyler Oliver added the 2-point conversion to set the stage for Sunderlin and Huey's heroics on the next Dragon series.
"Unfortunately, we had a little let up and we were concerned with that," said Overdorff. "We told the kids to play every play and we didn't on that kickoff and let them back in it. It's a credit to those guys on the other side - they ran the trap and we couldn't stop it and the double dives.
"We couldn't stop it for a little while and they got right back in the football game. The difference was our kids kept fighting and they made the big plays to put themselves in a position to win."
The lengthy drive was the only offense the Lions could muster against an otherwise attacking Purchase Line unit.
The Dragons limited United to 17 plays on 17 yards in the first half, where the hosts gained only one first down. Purchase Line allowed five on the last Lions scoring drive, but yielded just six yards afterward.
United finished the contest with 35 plays for 81 yards - or 25 plays for eight yards outside of its lone scoring drive.
"I thought we've had a good gameplan defensively every week this season," Overdorff said, "but you've got to execute that gameplan. We haven't been doing that on either side of the ball. I thought, tonight, we knew what kind of football they were going to play - they want to come smash you in the mouth - and we want to do the same thing.
"Our kids just rose up to the occasion and stopped them, for the most part. They handed it to us the first drive (of the third quarter), but we buckled back down and got some stops there after that. It was a great performance on both sides of the ball."
The Dragons will look to build on their momentum on Friday when they host rival Penns Manor, while United will look for its first win when it travels to Blairsville.
"It feels great any time you win," said Overdorff. "That's why you play. I'm so happy for these kids. I'm just tickled to death for them and our coaching staff ... who just kept fighting. We worked our butts off."
EXTRA POINTS: With Klingensmith returning to the fullback position, Overdorff moved Josh Pierce to tight end and credited him as a big reason the Dragons had as much success on the ground. "He is the consummate team player," Overdorff said of Pierce. "I bet - if you watch the film - a lot of our runs are because of No. 5. He's just a great, unselfish player." ... United quarterback Matt Dill completed 2 of 6 attempts for 6 yards. Lavis made both receptions for the Lions. ... Former Purchase Line head coach Dave Small is United's offensive coordinator.
Purchase Line 33
Score By Quarters
Purchase Line 7 12 7 7-33
United 0 6 8 0-14
PL-Huey 14 run, (Patterson kick), 3:17.
PL-Klingensmith 44 run, (kick failed), 3:49.
PL-Huey 16 run, (run failed), :42.
U-Lowther 90 kick return, (run failed), :27.
U-Lavis 17 run, (Oliver run), 3:54.
PL-Huey 64 run, (Patterson kick), 1:36.
PL-Huey 19 run, (Patterson kick), 9:10.
Total First Downs 18 6
Rushes-Yards 52-365 29-75
Comp-Att-Int 0-2-0 2-6-0
Passing Yards 0 6
Total Plays-Yards 54-365 35-81
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 3-0
Punts-Avg 2-32.5 7-29.3
Penalties-Yards 7-52 5-40
Purchase Line-Huey 23-232, Klingensmith 17-112, G. Syster 7-31, Sunderlin 2-4, Greene 1-2, Team 2-(-16).
United-Lavis 15-53, Oliver 9-31, Lowther 2-5, Dill 2-(-4), Skavang 1-(-10).
Purchase Line-Sunderlin 0-of-1, Team 0-of-1.
United-Dill 2-of-6, 6 yds.