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Indians Sports

Owego leapfrogs into first with field goal in overtime

Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 by Gannett News Service

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Gannett News Service
OWEGO -- One big play gave Owego Free Academy its touchdown less than three minutes into the game.

But one short kick -- a 21-yard field goal by Colin Lounsberry on the eighth play of overtime -- gave the Indians a 9-6 victory Saturday, thwarting a resilient Elmira Notre Dame effort Saturday afternoon.

The Crusaders rallied to tie the game with 20.9 seconds left in regulation.

With the victory Owego (4-3, 4-1) vaulted over Notre Dame (5-2, 3-1) into first place in the Section 4 Football Conference Division IV.

Owego scored on its third play from scrimmage, after stopping Notre Dame's opening drive with a three-and-out. On the play, Owego's Aaron White took a handoff left, was stopped twice, then emerged from the pile to break away for a 57-yard score, giving the Indians a 6-0 lead.

Notre Dame waited until 4:14 remained in the game before mounting an impressive, and somewhat desperate 12-play, 71-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard bull run by Mike Huffner and highlighted by a Trevor Dougherty spectacular sprawled catch of a 33-yard heave-ho from John Morrison.

Dougherty and Owego's Parker Evans hand-checked to a stalemate, before Dougherty separated at the last instant for the catch on the 1 with 44.5 seconds to go, the home scoreboard ticking away.

OFA controlled the ball for much of the game but wasn't able to push across a punctuating score in regulation. In fact, White's 57 yards on his first-quarter breakaway nearly equaled the Crusaders' 75 rushing yards in the contest. But where Notre Dame's offense couldn't get on track, the defense spent most of the day derailing decent Owego drives.

Notre Dame's defense impressed Owego head coach Steve Virkler, too. The Indians had a first-and-goal at the 7 in overtime, and in the next three running plays gained only 4 yards.

"I was really worried about it," Virkler said. "That's why we chose to go on this end with our kicker -- we had the wind at our backs."

After OFA took the lead in OT, Notre Dame gained only 6 yards, its last two plays falling as incomplete passes.

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