With just under four minutes remaining in their second round state-playoff bout with James Kenan, the Red Devils gave up an onside kick recovery to the Tigers who had just punched it in the end zone to bring it to a one possession game at 35-28.
The onside kick didn’t lack controversy, as it appeared James Kenan’s kick didn’t travel the necessary 10 yards before it was pounced on by a Tigers player.
Nevertheless, James Kenan had the ball with a potential game-tying possession in its hands. Overton, a senior, felt it was his duty to change that.
“I knew it was going to come down to me getting the ball,” Overton said.
Three plays into their drive, the Tigers botched a snap and the ball sputtered away. In the scrum for the loose ball, Overton made the recovery.
“I was so happy because the ball was really ours,” Overton said, referring to the controversial onside kick. The senior admitted he envisioned a possible scoop-and-score, but knew he better play it safe. “I really wanted to run it but I had to cover it up because they (coaches) don’t let me run the ball. They told me to fall on the ball.
“We studied film really hard and that’s because of the coaches telling us what to do. We just listen to the coaches.”
The Red Springs offense scored on its following possession on consecutive rushes from senior tailback Xavier McEachern. He charted a 31-yard run before crossing the goal line on an 8-yard rush to give the Red Devils a 42-28 command they held the rest of the way.
“I’m just glad my team could take it down the field and score with it,” Overton said.
Quarterback Blake Greene highlighted the Red Springs offense with five touchdowns on the night, pushing his season and county-lead total to 40.
Red Springs (10-2) travels to Teachey for third-round action against Wallace-Rose Hill (12-0), which defeated Goldsboro 45-13 last Friday.
“Third round … I’ve never been their in my life,” Overton said. “I know I have to play my hardest. It’s so radical … I can’t really explain it. It’s wild.”
Reach Sports Editor Kaleb Roedel at (910) 272-6111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.