Point made: Rebels win by converting 2-point plays
Isabella and Thorsby were both only 1-6 coming into the rivalry football game Friday, but you would have never known.
Both squads played hard and with emotion, and, at the end of the overtime period, the dejected losers lay face down on the muddy field, and the exuberant winners leaped into the air, almost as if some sort of championship had been decided.
Thorsby won, 32-30, its second win in a row after losing 17 straight before that.
“We’ve been preaching to them that, in the past, when something went wrong, we’d drop our heads and don’t recover until two or three plays later,” Thorsby coach Billy Jackson said. “We told them to compete and play every play. If something goes wrong, let’s just pick it up and play the next play.”
Isabella actually scored five touchdowns to Thorsby’s four, but the difference turned out to be point-after tries. Isabella didn’t convert any of their opportunities, while Thorsby racked up eight points solely on 2-point plays.
The game ended, fittingly, when Isabella’s Willie Stacy was brought down inches from the goal line on a 2-point conversion attempt seconds after Stacy had run for a touchdown on the first play of Isabella’s overtime possession.
Thorsby got the ball first in OT but started on the 25-yard line instead of the 10 because the team’s bench was still insisting it had been shorted a down at the end of regulation.
A fourth-and-7 from the Isabella 11-yard line with 17.5 seconds left in regulation should have been third down, Thorsby fans, players and coaches contended. A field goal attempt was short and wide left, so the game went into an extra period.
Thorsby’s junior quarterback Andrew Farris wasn’t concerned about the penalty, though. In fact, it gave him just enough room to connect with senior Dillin Simmons in the back of the end zone on the second play of the Rebels’ possession.
Farris then found sophomore receiver Stephen Mims on a slant for the 2-point conversion that would wind up being the difference.
The Mustangs (1-7, 0-6 Class 2A, Region 4) took an early 12-0 lead. Senior quarterback Allen Edwards kept the football 9 seconds into the second quarter, ran into a pile of humanity at the line of scrimmage, and then looked to his right before deciding to run back left for 28 yards and a score.
Less than 2 minutes later, Edwards threw to fellow senior Austin Anderson. The pass was played well and even tipped by Thorsby junior defender Marcus Bray, but Anderson was able to catch the tipped ball with one hand and race to the 2-yard line, where Stacy ran it in from.
The Rebels (2-6, 2-4) got on the scoreboard before halftime when a short Farris-to-Marcus Bray pass turned into a 56-yard score after Bray broke a tackle then broke away from the Isabella defense.
Farris passed to junior Eric Camarillo for the 2-point conversion to make it 12-8 Isabella.
Thorsby took a lead 16-12 with 1:18 left in the third quarter when Farris ran it in from 3 yards then Kalup Nunn ran in the 2-point conversion.
Then things really heated up.
Farris had a first down run early in the fourth quarter, but somehow Isabella’s Dylan Green came out of the pile with the football and raced about 75 yards for a score.
Again, the point-after try was no good.
Farris gave the visitors the lead again with a quarterback sneak and also converted the 2-point play with 8:10 left in the game, but Isabella tied it on a 2-yard run by Edwards on the next possession.