|Last-second TD gives Stigall 100 |
|Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010 11:06 am |
MARTIN, Tenn. – Getting middle school victory No. 100 is one thing for Martin coach Mike Stigall, but getting it on a last-second pass to beat Tigrett is quite another.
Celebrate — The Martin Panther sideline erupts into celebration and races to congratulate Andrew Chavis (left) after he caught the winning TD on the final play against Tigrett. Photo by Joey Guest
On the Thunderbolts’ 13-yard line with 0.7 seconds remaining, quarterback Jvon Cavitt rolled right and hurled a perfect pass into the waiting arms of Andrew Chavis in the end zone as time expired and the Panthers and fans erupted in celebration of a thrilling 28-24 win.
It was the first loss for Tigrett, which fell to 5-1, while it was only Martin’s second win of the season to improve to 2-4.
“Jvon rolled out there with a lot of poise and found Andrew in the flats, and he hauled it in,” Stigall said.
Seven years ago on the same field, Tigrett coach Randy Franks earned his 100th victory with coach Stigall’s son, Blake, in uniform as an eighth-grade Panther player.
Thursday night, Blake, now a Martin assistant coach, got to celebrate his dad’s milestone with him on the sidelines as time expired.
The landmark win seemed a bit unlikely moments earlier when Martavious Long caught a 24-yard TD off a halfback pass from Tydarius Tyson for a 24-22 Tigrett lead with 47 seconds left in the game.
It was the fourth time the two had connected on the same play in the game, going for 187 yards and three TDs.
But, on the ensuing kickoff, Chavis returned the ball 25 yards to the 50 and got 15 more yards tacked on for a facemask penalty.
Four plays later, Martin faced fourth-and-12 with 27.2 ticks remaining when the Bolts were whistled for a pass interference penalty, giving the Panthers an automatic first down.
Chavis ran for 9 yards, and with no time outs remaining, the Panthers rushed to the scrimmage line as Cavitt spiked the ball with .7 seconds remaining to set up the game-winning pass.
It was a fitting end to a wild and hotly contested game.
Tigrett led 6-0 after the opening quarter and 12-0 in the second on the first of the Tyson-to-Long halfback passes, this one covering 62 yards.
Behind the running of Ledrell Starnes and Chavis — who led all rushers with 104 yards and a TD on 18 carries — Martin drove 56 yards in six plays to score when Starnes hit paydirt from the 18 with 2:55 left in the half. Cavitt passed to Blake Moore for the conversion and the Panthers had cut their deficit to 12-8, where it remained until halftime, thanks in large part to a fumble recovery and several big defensive plays by Jason Hicks.
Moore recovered a fumble to end Tigrett’s opening possession of the second half, and Cavitt answered with runs of 20, 10 and 3 yards, the last going for a touchdown and a 14-12 Panther lead.
Hicks again came up with a big defensive play by snagging an interception to end the Bolts’ ensuing drive, but Martin was forced to punt on its possession.
Again Tigrett went for the halfback pass and again it worked as Tyson threw to Long for a 71-yard TD pass on the first play of the fourth quarter to grab an 18-14 lead.
With a weary Tigrett defense on the field, Martin went to the power running game with Tyler McClure carrying Bolts on his back for runs of 10, 7, 5 and 12 yards to set up Chavis for a 6-yard TD run. McClure’s two-point conversion run gave Martin a 22-16 advantage with 4:19 to play and set up the late fireworks as the Panthers claimed the thrilling victory.
• Editor’s note: Joey Guest is an associate editor with Pressbox1.com. He can be reached at 731-332-1164 or via e-mail at email@example.com.