Late field goal downs Spartans, 29-27
By BRIAN KELLY
Bainbridge Island Review Editor
September 26, 2009 · Updated 12:07 AM
A 32-yard field by junior Sean Grady with 18 seconds left in the game rallied Seattle Prep to a 29-27 Metro League victory over Bainbridge Friday night.
In a wild second half, Bainbridge, which led 14-0 after the first quarter, moved the ball to Seattle Prep's 33 with 10 seconds remaining before Roger Mecham's interception of a Jordan Wagner pass ended the game.
Seattle Prep's winning drive began on its own 38 after Bainbridge came up a yard short on a fourth-down play. A 20-yard run by Joey DeRitis, who scored three touchdowns for the winners, gave the Panthers a first down on the Spartans' 35. But sophomore quarterback Jackson Clough lost nine yards on a fumble and the Panthers faced a fourth-and-19 situation at Bainbridge's 44 with 1:07 left in the game.
One more stop and Bainbridge could run out the clock, but Clough scrambled under pressure and passed 26 yards to Nathan Nichols for a first down on Bainbridge's 18.
Three plays later, the Panthers set up for a field goal attempt, but Clough fumbled the snap, scrambled and then completed a pass to Spence Stevenson for a touchdown. But the score was nullified when the Panthers were called for an illegal-man-downfield penalty.
Grady then kicked his first field goal as a varsity player for the win.
"It got a little crazy at the end," said Prep coach D.R. Clawson. "We made some big plays and our sophomore quarterback (Clough) really stepped up in his first game with the varsity. But we're lucky to get away with a win over a good team. I'm proud of the kids because they hung in there when they could have hung their heads."
Clough wasn't expected to play until quarterback Nick Holt, who essentially is a running back operating out of the shotgun formation, was benched by Clawson after he was hit with a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for swearing.
"We just didn't get it done," Bainbridge coach Andy Grimm said. "We had great effort and played hard to the last play. We had the opportunity to win this game, but we just didn't execute when we had to. And they did."
The Spartans scored on their first drive, going 58 yards on six plays, capped by a 45-yard scoring pass from Wagner to M.J. Cox. They went ahead 14-0 after the Panthers turned the ball over on a fumble on their own 34. The Spartans ground out a 10-play drive that ended with Jason Haley scoring on an eight-yard pass from Wagner.
The Panthers scored quickly early in the second quarter, ignited by a 48-yard run by Ryan Wheatley. Holt scored from 15 yards out two plays later.
Bainbridge appeared primed to regain a two-touchdown lead late in the quarter, but fullback Alex Johnson fumbled and Prep recovered on its own 15.
The Panthers opened the second half on fire, thanks to a 68-yard kick-off return by DeRitis that gave them a first down on the Bainbridge 26. DeRitis scored from five yards out six plays later.
The Spartans roared back on a six-play, 77-yard drive capped by Alex Crane's 18-yard touchdown run on a counter play.
But the Panthers quickly responded, led by DeRitis' running. The 200-pound senior gained 37 yards on an off-tackle run and then scored from five yards out after Clough ran 11 yards on a keeper. But the Spartans held onto to a 21-20 lead when the center snap on the extra-point attempt got away from Clough.
Prep recovered another Bainbridge fumble late in the third quarter and reached the Bainbridge 4 after Clough and Sam Angelo teamed up for a 37-yard pass play. But the Spartans' defense stiffened, and Grady's 27-yard field goal attempt failed when it hit the crossbar.
But after the Spartans stalled, DeRitis struck again. He fielded a Will Devereaux punt on the Spartans' 45 and ran down the sideline for a score and a 26-21 Prep lead after the run for a two-point conversion failed.
Grimm argued with the referees that a Spartan defender had been clipped on the touchdown play, but the officials apparently missed the obvious block from behind near the sidelines.
The Panthers recovered the subsequent onside kick, but had to punt four plays later. Haley returned the punt 20 yards to give the Spartans a first down on their own 46. With Johnson and Wagner doing most of the running, the Spartans scored nine plays later on Johnson's one-yard plunge. A pass attempt failed and BHS led 26-21.
The Spartans appeared primed to put the game out of reach when they regained possession and moved from their own 23 to Prep's 46. But after Johnson got a first down on a six-yard run he suffered an injury. He eventually walked off the field, but never returned to the game. The Spartans turned the ball over on downs four plays later and the Panthers began their winning drive with 1:57 left in the game.
Johnson ran for 77 yards on 22 carries, but Wagner led the offense with his arm and legs. He completed six of eight passes for 143 yards, and ran 59 yards on 13 carries.
Bainbridge, now 3-2 overall and 0-1 in league play, plays at home next Friday against Eastside Catholic .
Seattle Prep 29, Bainbridge 27
Score by Quarters
Seattle Prep 0 7 13 9 – 29
Bainbridge 14 0 7 6 – 27
Bainbridge – M.J. Cox 45 pass from Jordan Wagner (Will Devereaux kick)
Bainbridge – Jason Haley 8 pass from Wagner (Devereaux kick)
Seattle Prep – Nick Holt 15 run (Sean Grady kick)
Seattle Prep – Joey DeRitis 5 run (Grady kick)
Bainbridge – Alex Crane 18 run (Devereaux kick)
Seattle Prep – DeRitis 1 run (run failed)
Seattle Prep – DeRitis 45 punt return (run failed)
Bainbridge – Johnson 1 run (pass failed)
Seattle Prep – Grady 32 field goalContact Bainbridge Island Review Editor Brian Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-206-842-6613.