T. J. Fincher had to take over the quarterback duties for Landrum High School in the second half of the Friday, Sept. 7 game against Polk County High School. (photo by Fulton Hampton)

Polk beats LHS in overtime 28-21

Published 6:48pm Monday, September 10, 2012

by Fulton Hampton

“Nail-biter,” “down to the wire,” “come-from-behind victory,” “disappointing last-second loss” – these are just some of the clichés that could be used to refer to the Landrum versus Polk County game Friday night, Sept. 7.
In what has to be one of the most exciting games in recent history, it took overtime to settle this contest. The game was tied 21-21 at the end of regulation and the final results were determine by a mere yard. In overtime, Polk scored on its possession and Landrum came up one yard short on its final down. The game ended Wolverines 28, Cardinals 21. Polk had never led the game until its overtime score.
Landrum clearly dominated in the first half of the game. Scoring twice in the second quarter, Polk was having little success stopping the Cardinals’ offense. Landrum’s Aaron Bryant, Jo Jo Wilkins and T.J. Fincher ran the ball at will and Bryant passed effectively as well. It appeared that Landrum would take a dominating 14-0 lead into the second half, with momentum clearly on its side.
However, with less than five seconds left to go in the half, Landrum had to kick off to Polk after scoring. The Cardinals appeared to try to “squib kick” the ball (a flat and low kick that is difficult to return), but the ball went all the way through into the hands of return man freshman Jamaal Tanner. Tanner took the ball and ran toward the middle of the field. Suddenly a lane opened up and he ran virtually untouched for an 83-yard touchdown as the horn sounded. The half ended at 14 to 7 in Landrum’s favor, but the momentum had swung at least partially back to Polk.
The third quarter had several highlights but a couple very critical to the outcome of the game. Landrum’s Bryant had to leave the game early in the third period, apparently injured on a hard tackle by Lucas Williams. With Bryant out of the game, Fincher was forced into quarterback duty. Although effective both running and passing, Landrum had one fewer weapon for the Wolverines to defend.

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