By TONY EIERDAM
It was simply a good, tough six man playoff football game played between two good teams Friday night in a Region III, Division II state quarterfinal game at Ram Stadium, but someone had to lose.
In a run-and-gun game that saw the lead change hands nine times in the second half, No. 7 Newcastle made one last defensive stand and it was enough to hold off the No. 3 Strawn Greyhounds, 64-62.
The loss ends the Greyhounds’ season as Strawn finishes 10-3 overall. Newcastle (10-2) will advance to the state semifinals against either
Calvert or Milford. That state quarterfinal game was not finished before press time on Saturday.
The loss dampened a fantastic effort by Strawn sophomore Coletyn King, who had his hand in every Greyhounds’ touchdown. King scored five times on the ground, had a touchdown reception and also threw for two scores.
The ‘Hounds appeared to have sewed up the game with 2:32 remaining. After the SHS defense had forced Newcastle to punt, on the first play of the series King threw to Ross Alison for a 32-yard touchdown.
Jacob Trujillo booted the two-point PAT kick to give the ‘Hounds a 62-56 lead.
But Newcastle, led by the arm and legs of quarterback Tyler Mays, who finished with four rushing touchdowns and threw for a pair of scores, had one more big play left in it.
On first down from his own 20-yard line, Mays threw a towering deep pass down the middle that was snared by receiver Ryan Hardin, who out-jumped his single defender at the Strawn 20 and lumbered into the end zone to tie the game, 62-62, with 2:35 remaining.
On the PAT attempt, Newcastle lined up for a two-point kick. However, the Bobcats faked the kick but were called for illegal procedure as officials marked off five yards against NHS.
That forced Newcastle to kick the PAT, and Mays’ attempt split the uprights as Newcastle took a 64-62 lead.