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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Again, Foxes rally for late FG
King George has written this ending before: The Foxes muddle around on offense and trail late; Corey Henderson leads a last-minute drive; Jacob Perkins kicks a game-winning field goal.
It’s exactly how the Foxes beat Stafford, 20–17, earlier this month, and it’s exactly how they topped Louisa,
15–14 last night.
This time, there were a few extra twists and turns, especially at the finish.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” King George senior Jordi Estes said. “Two times in a year like this? We haven’t been put in this situation once since I’ve been here. My mind is going crazy.”
Perkins’ boot—a 26-yarder—came after successive misses and back-to-back Louisa penalties that gave him another chance.
It started with a 47-yarder on fourth down, with 4.8 seconds remaining. Perkins’ kick was long enough, but was wide left.
King George’s players fell to their knees in angst, and the Louisa sideline erupted.
But there was a flag.
The referee signaled roughing the kicker—he was not available after the game to clarify the call—but King George coach Jeff Smith thought it may have been roughing the center.
“I didn’t see it, but all game we were telling [the officials] the center can’t be touched, and they were just killing him,” Smith said. “One time on a punt they hit him, and the center is protected. I think they finally called it.”
Perkins’ second try was from 32 yards, and never had a chance.
Louisa smothered the kick in the backfield (the Lions also blocked a punt and an extra point in the game), and the Lions thought the game was won.
But the ball was still alive, having landed in the hands of a King George player.
It appeared before the play was blown dead, Louisa’s players had stormed the field to celebrate for a second time. Another flag was thrown.
This penalty moved the ball up to the 7, and Perkins’ third try split the uprights.
“I tell the kids, ‘Never give up until the last seconds are off the clock,’” Smith said. “I thought if we get it near the 40, we’d have a chance. But getting there, I didn’t know if we could or not.”
Henderson led the comeback after Louisa had done its best to make the situation as bleak as possible.
The two teams swapped touchdowns and missed extra points in the first half, with neither offense establishing much rhythm.
The Lions went ahead early in the third quarter, and added a 2-point conversion.
King George used its single-wing offense to cut the Lions’ advantage to 14–12.
With nine minutes, 40 seconds to play, Louisa took over at its own 20, and milked an 18-play drive to eat more than eight minutes off the clock.
But the Foxes got a stop on fourth-and-2 from the 5, with 1:21 to play.
Henderson completed passes to Davion Hutt, Markiece Johnson, Estes, and then two more to Johnson to move the ball to the Louisa 30, with less than five seconds remaining.
That set up Perkins’ last-second try, and the wild finish that followed.
“That last drive and how the game ended,” Smith said, “that showed a lot of character.”
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045