ND Celebrates Double-OT Nailbiter

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 31, 2013

North Davie kicker Skyler Schoppe relished the pressure: With North trailing by two in overtime, he has to convert or North loses 22-20. He came through.
Mitchell Ijames and Cody Smith relished the pressure: With North facing fourth-and-goal from the 4 in the second OT, North has to score or it’s all but over. They delivered, with Ijames completing a pass to Smith.
The Wildcats, who hosted Forbush at Davie High last week, escaped with a 30-22 double-overtime decision that they will remember for a long time.
“It was a great game by the extra-point team,” coach George Newman said of snapper Blake Budd, holder Evan Marshall and kicker Schoppe. They successfully executed three of four kicks, including the final three. “It was unbelievable the confidence they demonstrated on two extra points in the OT periods with tons of pressure on their shoulders.”
It’s been an exciting turnaround for the Wildcats, who improved to 3-4 with their second straight down-to-the-wire victory. A week earlier, they survived 24-19 over Thomasville as Ben Summers scored the clinching TD on a 14-yard run with 1:20 left. They enjoyed back-to-back wins for the first time in three years, and they scored the most points in 13 games (40-32 at Forbush in week two of 2012).
Ijames opened the scoring with a 45-yard run. It remained 6-0 as Forbush blocked the extra point.
It was all North early. It used 13 plays to drive 65 yards. Davis Bishop ran 14 yards, then 8. Ijames scored from the 11, getting a great downfield block from receiver Smith. Schoppe’s kick made it 14-0.
“I wasn’t sure how we would respond playing under the lights (at Davie High),” Newman said. “But I quickly found out that with a quick offensive tempo, the kids didn’t notice anything but the field and their opponent.”
North made a defensive stand to end the half, stopping four Forbush plays from inside the 5.
North, however, began to unravel in the second half. Forbush blocked two punts, it climbed within 14-8, and it tied the game at 14 with less than a minute remaining.
“The second half was a total flip-flop of the first half,” he said. “We lost our edge. Forbush basically started punching us in the mouth. We had lost all momentum.”
When Forbush reached the end zone to tie the game at 14, it seemed destined to win. All was left was the extra point. Since the kicker hadn’t missed a PAT all year, it appeared the Wildcats were going to leave with a bitter taste in their mouths.
But the kick was wide right. North was still alive.
“A timeout and a change in our extra-point block unit forced the wide-right kick,” Newman said.
In overtime, Forbush got the ball first from the North 10. It scored, the extra point was good and it led 22-14.
After Ijames scored from the 2, Schoppe made the kick to force the second OT.
On fourth-and-goal from the 4, Ijames completed a TD pass to Smith. Schoppe’s PAT made it 30-22.
Then there was this: Smith added to his monster performance, making two tackles for losses. The second came on fourth down as he brought down the quarterback and knocked the ball loose.
Linebacker Matt King had a big tackle in the second OT. D-linemen Jesus Olemda and Anthony Olemda also caused havoc in the closing moments.
And don’t forget about defensive tackle Kyree Davis, who¬† racked up four tackles for losses.
Ijames, the quarterback who accounted for four TDs (three rushing, one passing), finished with 80 rushing yards. Summers added 41.