WEST ALEXANDRIA — Cade Cottingim’s 29-yard touchdown run, on a broken play, in overtime, lifted host Twin Valley South to a 26-20 win over visiting National Trail on Friday, Sept. 14.
Cottingim was looking for a slant pass, but realized he could get to the outside of the Blazes defense.
Once he did it was a foot race to the end zone as Cottingim dove for the winning score setting off a wild celebration that extended onto the track as he was mobbed by teammates.
“It was a hard-fought battle. Both teams played really, really hard. It doesn’t get any better than this for Friday night football,” South coach Clint Bartlett said. “It was just a hard, physical game. Both teams did a nice job trying to hold onto the ball. Things fell in our way tonight.”
Trail got the scoring started taking a 6-0 lead. South followed with a score of it own to tie the game at 6-6. The Blazers regained the lead with 2:20 left in the second quarter, 13-6.
But Cottingim hooked up with Chandler Napier for a 55-yard TD pass to make it 13-12 at the half.
Napier was injured on the play and did not return to the game.
“Losing somebody like Chandler is a loss. He’s a great kid. He’s a hard worker. He’s a leader on this football team but we had a couple of young guys just step up,” Bartlett said.
NT pushed its lead to 20-12 with with 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cottingim returned the kick for a touchdown and the two-point conversion tied the game at 20-20 with 31 seconds left in the third.
In the overtime, Trail got the ball first and failed to score, setting up Cottingim’s heroics.
“We saw they were blitzing their outside backer on the outside so we thought we might be able to hit a little slant behind it, but Cade did a good job realizing it wasn’t there, pulled it down and took the corner,” Bartlett said. “I can’t say enough for how our running backs ran, how our O-line blocked in the second half. It was an all-around team effort tonight.”
For Trail, coach Mark Hoffman was left wondering what might have been had his team not committed so many penalties.
“We were having trouble with penalties. We just cannot make 11, 12 penalties and expect to win a ball game. All we do is shoot ourselves in the foot,” he said. “We just did not play disciplined ball tonight. We just didn’t play to our capability, especially on offense.”
South (2-2, 1-1 CCC) is scheduled to travel to Mississinawa Valley on Friday.
Trail (2-2, 0-2 ) will visit Tri-Village.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH