Originally created 09/12/98

Alexander rally falls short; Knights win thriller



EVANS -- Evans High had a lot of doubters after a stinging 7-0 loss to Westside last Saturday night. A loss to the AAA Patriots wasn't exactly the kind of way Evans hoped to start the season.

But on Friday night at John Pierce Blanchard Stadium, the Knights found the perfect remedy for last week's loss. Provide the fans with a thrilling victory and last week will be easily forgotten about.

The Knights did just that in holding off a furious Alexander rally and hanging on for a thrilling 14-13 victory over the Cougars.

Trailing 14-7 with less than a minute remaining in the contest, Alexander marched 80 yards on a nine-play drive that ended with Coy Danley's 2 yard scramble to make it 14-13 with 28 seconds left in the game.

But on the extra point, Alexander never got a clean handle on the snap and kicker Chris Coughlin squibbed the extra point attempt, preserving the Knights win in front of the home crowd.

"That was too close," Evans coach Jim Connor said after the game. "But it was a good ball game. They're a well-coached team."

The Evans High offense turned in a solid performance, amassing 257 total yards including a 99-yard performance from freshman Fernando Mickens.

The defense, however, made life miserable for Alexander quarterback Brett Davis, picking off the senior three times in the contest.

The Knights added what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown on its first drive in the second half. Evans used needed just seven plays for junior Jamal Jones to score from a yard out to make it 14-7 with 8:58 left in the third quarter. Jones finished the game with 69 yards on 14 carries

But when the game started, it seemed Evans' worst enemy was itself. On Alexander's first drive of the night, two costly Knight penalties put the Cougars in prime position for the early lead.

After Alexander's Rod Nelson hauled in a 13-yard pass from quarterback Brett Davis on a key third-and-two from the Cougar 34, a facemask penalty and a personal foul call gave Alexander a first down at the Evans 21. Two plays later, Davis connected with Tyler Gentry on an 18-yard touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

But Evans managed to tie the game at 7 just seconds before the first half ended, using a 12-play, 79-yard drive that culminated with Kerry Winfrey's 2-yard plunge on third-and-goal from the two-yard line.