Central Valley coach Mark Lyons didn't think his team could stop Montour in overtime, so he decided to see if Montour could stop Robert Foster.
After Central Valley scored in overtime to come within a point, some of Central Valley's offensive players started jogging off the field for the extra-point team. Lyons waved them back.
Central Valley decided to go for the win and put the ball in the hands of Foster. Central Valley's star senior did so much during the game, but came up a little short on the two-point conversion.
Montour knocked Foster out of bounds at the 2, and Montour defeated Central Valley, 28-27, in a terrific WPIAL Parkway Conference showdown between the top two ranked teams in Class AAA.
"Wow. Ain't that something," Montour's Devin Wilson said after the game.
Montour (2-0 overall, 2-0 in conference), the Post-Gazette's No. 2 Class AAA team, came back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime. The Spartans tied it, 21-21, when Tynen Greer, one of three quarterbacks to play in Montour's offense, scored on a 4-yard run and Nate Dearth kicked the extra point with 32 seconds left.
In high school overtimes, each team gets a possession from the 10-yard line. If there is still a tie, the process is repeated.
Montour took the ball first in overtime and, on the first play, Greer hit Cole Macek with a 10-yard touchdown pass. Dearth kicked the extra point.
No. 1-ranked Central Valley (1-1, 1-1) took the ball and lined up in the wildcat formation that had been so successful in the second half. Foster, a receiver who takes snaps in the wildcat, ran 8 yards to the 2 and then scored on the next play.
"After Montour scored on their first play in overtime, I knew we were going for two because we weren't going to stop [Montour]," Lyons said. "That's the bottom line. We weren't going to stop them."
On Central Valley's two-point conversion, Foster again lined up in the wildcat. He took the snap and sprinted to his left, but had four defenders in front of him. He reversed and ran all the way back to the right sideline, where linebacker Johnny Dobbins knocked him out of bounds to give Montour the win.
"It was an unbelievable game," said Montour coach Lou Cerro.
"Stopping Foster like that, you can't ask for much more. It was a gutsy call by their coach. I was a little surprised, but they had a little momentum, and every time Foster was touching the ball, he was getting 4 or 5 yards. Our kids just made a big play."
Foster, ranked among the top receivers in the country, finished with 65 yards on 14 carries and caught three passes for 36 yards.
For Montour, Wilson rushed for 73 yards on 12 carries and caught three passes for 49. Montour used three quarterbacks for the second game in a row, and Greer had a big performance, especially in the fourth quarter. He finished with seven completions in eight attempts for 113 yards and directed the tying drive. Ryan Mihelcic was 4 for 6 for 86 yards and Max Rosinsky 1 for 2 for 6 yards.
Central Valley trailed, 7-0, at halftime, but Foster and Anthony Williams provided the Trojans offense with lightning strikes in the second half. Central Valley moved 71 yards in 13 plays for a score on its first possession of the second half as Central Valley used the wildcat for the first time.
Montour made a special-teams mistake on the ensuing kickoff, failing to cover a short kick, and Central Valley's Skyler Cron recovered at the Montour 23. Five plays later, Foster scored on a 2-yard run, and Elliot Taylor's kick made it 14-7 with 3:44 left in the third quarter.
It didn't take long for Central Valley to strike back. On the first play after Montour turned the ball over on downs at the Central Valley 39, Williams got behind a defender on the left sideline and Nate Climo hit him in stride for a 61-yard scoring play. Climo finished 9 for 13 for 149 yards.
Central Valley took a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter and looked to be sailing to victory. The Trojans had the lead and momentum. After gaining only 69 yards in the first half, Central Valley had 155 yards in the third quarter.
But it was Montour's turn to dominate in the fourth. Mihelcic scored on a 1-yard run with 8:34 left after Montour's tying drive started at its 32 with 1:52 left. Greer completed five passes to move the ball to the Central Valley 4, then scored on the next play to force the overtime.
First Published September 7, 2012 4:00 AM