With Friday night’s nonregion matchup, Westside and Cross Creek could have called it a draw after tying for four quarters.
The way regulation ended, however, there was no way either team was leaving without some finality.
After three grueling overtimes, the visiting Patriots started their season off in style with a 31-29 win over the Razorbacks.
After Tony Bullock scored from 2 yards out on Cross Creek’s possession in the third overtime, the Razorbacks (0-2) failed to convert on a 2-point conversion. In Georgia, both teams are forced to go for two beginning with the third overtime.
DeMarcus Vaugn then ran with the opportunity to win it for Westside (1-0). He didn’t waste any time, scoring from 15 yards out on the first play of the drive. He then won the game by converting his team’s 2-point attempt.
The first two overtimes featured more offense – and more ups and downs – than all of regulation.
Bullock started the overtime session with an 8-yard touchdown run for Cross Creek. Then, on third-and-16, Westside’s Jalen Lampkin scrambled left and found Mason Dodd in the front corner of the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown. Both teams made their extra point attempts.
In the second overtime, Cross Creek’s Rob Cheek answered Westside’s field goal with a booming kick of his own. His 43-yarder had plenty of distance to send the game to a third extra session.
With two minutes left in regulation, Cross Creek tied it at 13-all on a 15-yard strike from Devon Diamond to Jerry Grissam.
The Razorbacks then forced a punt and got the ball back with 22 seconds remaining. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Diamond found Bullock for a 46-yard completion, but Westside’s Naquan Brooks stripped the ball at the 1-yard line to preserve the tie.
Westside 31, Cross Creek 29 (3OT)
PLAY OF THE GAME: Westside’s Naquan Brooks stripped the ball away from Cross Creek’s Tony Bullock on the 1-yard line after a 46-yard catch and run to send the game to overtime.
STAR OF THE GAME: Westside quarterback Jalen Lampkin didn’t have a great night through the air, but he ran the ball effectively and came up with a big pass (a 21-yard touchdown in the second overtime) when it mattered most.
WHY WESTSIDE WON: The Patriots had trouble maintaining offensive rhythm during the first half, but took advantage of a turnover to get their first score and keep the game close at halftime.
WHY CROSS CREEK LOST: The Razorbacks had a pair of potential game-changing plays called back because of penalties, and the fumble at the 1-yard line at the end of regulation was tough to come back from.
NEXT: Westside vs. Butler, Friday; Cross Creek at Liberty County, Sept. 21.
Westside 31, Cross Creek 29 (3OT)
Westside 0 7 0 6 7 3 8 – 31
Cross Creek 6 0 0 7 7 3 6 – 29
CC–Deon Kleckley 42 run (kick failed), 3:19
W–Lawrence Freeman 12 pass from Jalen Lampkin (kick good), 1:24
W–John Freeman 2 run (kick failed), 7:22
CC–Jerry Grissam 15 pass from Devon Diamond (Rob Cheek kick), 2:04
CC–Tony Bullock 8 run (Cheek kick)
W–Mason Dodd 21 pass from Lampkin (kick good)
CC–Cheek 43 FG
CC–Bullock 2 run (run failed)
W–Vaugn 15 run (Vaugn run)
RUSHING–Westside: Vaugn 9-46, John Freeman 12-43, Damion Davis 12-19, Lampkin 10-57, Aaron Commings 6-19, TEAM 1-MINUS 12. Cross Creek: Kleckley 11-80, Bullock 11-51, Grissam 1-0, Diamond 18-MINUS 31.
PASSING–Westside: Lampkin 3-11-1 36. Cross Creek: Diamond 8-15-1 120.
RECEIVING–Westside: Dodd 1-21, Lawrence Freeman 2-15. Cross Creek: Isiah Medina 1-6, Kleckley 3-21, Grissam 3-47, Bullock 1-46.