Polk County falls 13-10 in overtime heartbreaker

Published 9:09 pm Monday, November 23, 2009

A sign under the scoreboard at Thomasville told of the legacy of the Bulldogs: State Champions 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.&bsp; If there had been any doubt about the history of the opponent and&bsp; the significance of the game it was clearly illuminated for all to see.

Polk County coach Bruce Ollis said earlier in the week in referencing Thomasvilles recent success and championships:&bsp; If you want to be the man, you have to beat the man

Clearly, Polk had come to the home of the man.&bsp; Even the Cushwa Stadium hot dogs, according to the Internet chatter, were legendary, but this would be an extremely hard night for the Wolverine fans to stomach.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Polk dominated the game statistically and proved mountain teams can hold their own against teams with speed as had been questioned. But the game ended tied at 7-7 in regulation and Polk lost a heartbreaker in overtime 13-10.

The Wolverines were unable to convert several opportunities into touchdowns and missed four field goals including a 37-yarder at the end of regulation. The Polk defense held the Bulldogs to just 84 yards rushing, while Polks Andre Overholt had 172 yards rushing on his own.&bsp; But it was a couple of key pass plays for the Bulldogs that made the difference in the contest.

Polk scored first on the night as Overholt shot through a seam and outran the Bulldog secondary 62 yards to the end zone, as the Wolverines went up 7-0 with 2:33 left in the first. &bsp;

Late in the second quarter, the Bulldogs connected on a 25-yard pass on third-and-10 to get down to the Wolverines 20. Two plays later, Sam Nelson threw across the middle to Kenneth Mitchell for an 18-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left in the half. Thomasville added the extra point to tie the score at 7-7.

The third and fourth quarters were filled with opportunities for both teams but the game remained knotted at 7-7. The game seemed headed for overtime, but not before some excitement, controversy and disappointment for the Polk fans.

With 13 seconds left, Overholt made one of his patented game-changing runs for 46 yards to the Thomasville 25. Somehow, the clock showed there was still 11.5 seconds left after the long run. Finally, the clock was reset to 2.9 seconds and the Wolverines attempted the potential game winning 37-yard field goal. The kick was wide left.

In overtime, Polk once again had to settle for another field goal attempt. Jacob Christiansen hit his first field goal of the game to put the Wolverines up 10-7.

Then came a questionable call and a sudden dramatic ending. After the Bulldogs second run of their possession in overtime, Polk was called for a personal foul penalty. Supposedly there was a push after the play on number 15, although Polk does not have a number 15. This gave Thomasville the ball with a third-and-goal at the 2 yard line.

On the next play Thomasville quarterback Sam Nelson fumbled the snap. Polk Countys Juan Hicks quickly came out of the pile with the ball held high in the air having recovered it.

The Wolverines ran onto the field thinking they were headed to the third round and had beat the man.&bsp; But the officials gathered for a discussion and somehow ruled Nelson had recovered it. It was still Thomasvilles ball.

After a timeout to regroup, Thomasville decided to go for the win on the next play rather than kick the field goal to tie.

On fourth and goal Nelson hit Brandon Lucas on a slant pass for the win, 13-10 Thomasville. The man had once again come away as the winner.

A clearly disappointed coach Ollis shared his thoughts after the game.

What a great year, said Ollis. You hate that it culminates in a tough loss in overtime against a quality football program. Its a game Ill look back on.

We had so many chances to score early. It just kind of puts a lump in your throat when you think you are moving on to the third round and then the next play youre heartbroken.

Polk County finishes the season at 10-3.