Calvert falls in OT
Finally, Calvert ran out of dramatics.
On a fourth and four from Norwalk St. Paul’s 14 and trailing 21-14 in overtime, Tyler Long’s pass fell incomplete.
The way the game had gone, it almost was shocking that the pass wasn’t completed for a first down, or for a touchdown.
It had been that kind of night.
The Flyers improved to 2-0 with the 21-14 victory, exacting some revenge on a team that had beaten them twice last year and ended its 2012 season, even if coach John Livengood downplayed that aspect.
“What I would say is it’s week No. 2, it’s game No. 2. Last year was last year,” he said. “What we’re focused on is 2-0. It’s nothing about revenge or anything like that.”
The Flyers certainly earned this one. Twice in the first half, they thwarted Calvert’s offense when the latter was inside the 15, forcing a missed field goal by Michael Smith and then getting the Senecas to turn the ball over on downs after a Tyler Long touchdown run was negated by a hold.
The game remained scoreless into the third quarter, when the Flyers finally broke through. Long was intercepted by St. Paul’s Grant Dilger, and Dilger returned the ball to Calvert’s 15. Two plays later, Jesse Gross scored on an eight yard touchdown run with 9:54 left.
Calvert answered later in the third, going on a 12-play 45-yard drive. The key play came when Long, facing a fourth and 10 at the St. Paul 33, lofted a pass down the middle toward Donavon Stith. A Flyer got his hand on the pass, but Stith somehow came down with it at the 10.
It was one of the best games of Stith’s career, as he finished with five catches for 100 yards.
Three plays after the catch, the Senecas tied the game when Adam Recker barreled into the end zone from the 5.
With about three minutes left, it appeared the Flyers landed the deciding blow when quarterback Scottie Slauterback aired out a pass down the right sideline to a wide open Wes Fritz, who raced 64 yards to the end zone to give St. Paul a 14-7 edge.
Things looked especially bleak for the Senecas when they turned the ball over on downs with less than two minutes left in their own end.
But then something else unexpected occurred.
On a second down, Gross got a handoff and took it to about the Calvert 22, but was hit and fumbled. The Senecas recovered.
Suddenly, Calvert had life again.
It looked like it wouldn’t do it any good after back-to-back procedure penalties pushed it back to the eight. But then Long hit Stith again, first for 38 yards, and later on the drive for 23 to push the Senecas to the St. Paul 16.
Six seconds remained.
Calvert coach Todd Fox said the ensuing play call was something of an improvisation.
“To be honest with you, we drew it up in the sand there,” Fox said.
What happened was Long flinging a pass to a crowd in the back of the end zone. Calvert’s Dan Reineke brought the ball down as time expired. A Michael Smith extra point forced overtime.
“We put Reineke in a position he’s not in normally, and he was our only route,” Fox said.
Livengood said he had a message for his team just before overtime. The squad had already lost star back Devin Smith to injury, and now had to endure a major momentum shift.
“Just keep fighting,” he said.
Despite the loss, Fox was positive.
“I’m excited about the way our kids played,” he said.
Long finished with 218 yards passing. Reineke had five catches for 83 yards.