Mountaineers send the Devils home in 3 OTs
November 22, 2008By Jimmy Davis of Kings Mountain High School
.copied from the shelbystar....
KINGS MOUNTAIN - Josh Haraszkiewicz still doesn't know who caused the fumble on Mooresville's third overtime possession. All Haraszkiewicz and Kings Mountain High football fans know is he corralled the football to wrap up a thrilling 41-34 triple-overtime Mountaineers' playoff victory.
Kings Mountain (10-3) advances to the third round of the N.C. Class 3AA playoffs next week. The Mountaineers will host Anson County (10-3), which eliminated Olympic 55-20.
"I don't know who caused it," Haraszkiewicz said. "But when it popped up, I knew all I had to do was grab it and the game was over."
Haraszkiewicz did just that to set off a celebration on the field by Kings Mountain players, coaches and fans in one of the most exciting games in school history.
"I couldn't be prouder of these kids," said Mountaineers head coach Greg Lloyd, whose team trailed 24-14 entering the fourth quarter before making a comeback to force overtime. "They fought so hard and played so hard. I thought we owned the fourth quarter, then outplayed them in overtime."
It certainly wasn't easy.
Against the state's leading rusher, Jjshaun Pinkston, Kings Mountain forged a rally, then held on in overtime behind heroes both expected and unexpected.
Mountaineers' quarterback Michael Roberts accounted for 293 of his team's 379 yards total offense and three touchdowns. Joe Chambers had 79 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman kicker Edward Blackburn booted two field goals, including a career-long 33-yarder to send the game to a third overtime, and three pressure-packed extra points.
But, perhaps most importantly, a defense that struggled to contain Pinkston for three quarters - he finished with 212 yards total and a school-record 2,787 yards for the year - limited Mooresville to 46 yards in the fourth quarter and the overtime periods.
"Our defense stepped it up, shed blockers and tackled a little better when they had to," Lloyd said. "And then did it when it would be easy to be tired."
Thomas James led the effort with 11 solo or first-hit tackles, including three for losses. Anthony Dalton and J.T. Putnam added six stops each. Zach Hopper had five tackles. And Tori Belcher and Edward Hopper had four stops apiece.
Pinkston had 165 yards and two touchdowns through three quarters before finishing with 212 yards total, accounting for most of the Blue Devils' 310 yards total offense.
"We switched the defense," Haraszkiewicz said. "He's a great player but our coaches had a good game plan."