MAN — The old sports cliche says that playing to a tie is like kissing your sister.
Man High School sophomore kicker Zach Cook avoided this as he booted the game-winning extra point kick in the third overtime to lift the Man Hillbillies to a 45-44 3-OT win over Mount View on Friday night at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Tied 38-38 after two overtimes, Mount View’s Jaquane Imes put his team up 44-38 with a 26-yard touchdown catch from Elijah Collier. The two-point conversion failed.
That opened the door for Man (1-1), which tied it at 44 when QB Cameron Simpson tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Matt Sanders.
Under WVSSAC rules, a game will end in a tie if the contest is still knotted after a third overtime.
There would be no fourth overtime.
It would be all up to Cook.
The Man kicker then delivered a victory for the Hillbillies with the game-winning PAT which split the uprights.
“It was a lot of pressure,” Cook said. “If I miss we tie and if I make it we win. I can’t describe it. The ball went right down the middle and everybody went crazy.”
It was redemption time for Cook, who had earlier missed two PATs that could have won the game for the Hillbillies.
It was a big win for the Billies, which have returned to the Class AA ranks this season after more than 10 years as a Single-A school. Man was beaten 48-13 at rival Logan last week in the season opener.
“It was a great win for us,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “We needed it in the worst way especially after last week. The kids kept battling and we made the big plays when we needed too. The guys kept digging and digging and battled. We had to play tough to win and if we had lost I couldn’t sleep for three weeks. We can build from this.”
Mount View (0-2) went ahead late in regulation as Joseph Hayes scored on a 5-yard TD run with 5:41 left in the game. Aaric Gross then caught the two-point conversion pass from Collier and the Golden Knights led 26-20.
Facing defeat, Man drove down field and tied it 26-26 with 35 seconds left in the game as Kyle Browning scored on a 21-yard TD run. Cook’s potential game-winning PAT was no good and the game went into overtime.
Mount View’s Elijah Barner then put the Golden Knights on top 32-26 in the first overtime with a 5-yard touchdown run. Man had won the coin toss and elected to go on defense.
The Billies tied it up 32-32 with Simpson’s 5-yard TD run. Cook then had another chance to win the game but the extra point kick was no good.
In the second overtime, Man took a 38-32 lead with Browning’s 5-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed.
Mount View tied it at 38-38 and forced a third overtime as Collier passed to Gross for a 9-yard TD pass. The two-point conversion failed.
The first period was scoreless.
Mount View took an early 6-0 lead, marching 53 yards to pay dirt and capped off by a 10-yard run by Barner with 9:24 to play in second quarter. The kick failed.
The Billies took the lead at 7-6 as Matt Sanders returned a Mount View punt for a 37-yard touchdown at the 3:22 mark of the second quarter. Cook’s kick was good.
Mount View then took a 12-7 lead into the locker room, scoring with just 1:22 to play as Imes caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Collier. The two-point conversion pass play failed.
Mount View then got the football to start the second half but it was Sanders who intercepted a Collier pass at the Mount View 25-yard line.
Man would cash in on the turnover just five plays later on a 2-yard TD run by Browning. The two-point conversion failed as the Billies took a 13-12 lead with 7:22 to go in the third quarter. The drive was kept alive as Simpson hit Trey Whitt for a pass to the Golden Knights’ 3-yard line on a fourth-and-10 play.
Then, thanks to a bad Mount View punt on the next drive, Mount View stalled out and gave Man excellent field position at the Golden Knights’ 35-yard line.
Four plays later, Simpson rushed in from 1-yard out and Cook booted the PAT and Man led 20-12 with 4:32 left in the third quarter.
Mount View battled back on the ensuing kickoff and drove 60 yards in just four plays, helped along by a personal foul on the Billies, as Barner scored on a 7-yard TD run to cut the Man lead to 20-18.
Mount View then retook the lead at 26-20 midway into the fourth quarter with the TD by Hayes. The Knights drove 65 yards in just five plays.
Man’s tying score was the Browning touchdown as the Billies drove 67 yards in nine plays.
Man won for the ninth straight time over Mount View and lead the series 9-4 over the Golden Knights in the last 13 years. Mount View’s last win over Man was in 2007.
The Billies are scheduled to return to action this coming Friday night as Man hosts Westside (2-0). The Rengades destroyed county rival Wyoming East, 58-8, on Friday night.
2016 Man High School
Football Schedule (1-1):
Aug. 25: at Logan (Coalfield Kickoff Classic), L 13-48
Sept. 2: Mount View, W 45-44 (3-OT)
Sept. 9: Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: at River View, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: Open Date
Sept. 30: at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7: at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: Bluefield, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: Point Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Van, 7:30 p.m.