On a night when defense ruled, a defensive stop and a field goal proved to be the difference in the longest game to date between the DeSales and Watterson high school football teams.
The host Eagles -- who had lost five of the past seven matchups against the Stallions -- got a 21-yard field goal from Michael Harper in the third overtime to win 24-21 on Oct. 12.
The game was tied at 7 at the end of regulation but each team scored touchdowns during the first two overtimes.
Watterson, which improves to 5-3 overall and 1-0 in the CCL-Silver Division, then held DeSales off the scoreboard on the Stallions’ third overtime possession to set up the game-winner by Harper.
DeSales dropped to 4-4 overall and finishes 1-1 in the CCL-Silver.
“We hung in there and that’s the key to it,” Watterson coach Dan Bjelac said.
“I just tried to keep my calm,” said Harper, who missed a 36-yard field goal just before halftime. “After I missed the field goal, I felt a little shaken and coach (Bjelac) told me to not worry about it and just play the next play.”
Watterson fell behind 7-0 on a 7-yard touchdown run by Alex Perrine with four minutes left in the first half.
The Eagles tied it at 7 with 4:41 left in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by DeAndre Golden. Andy Elberson hooked up with Patrick Latimer for a 36-yard reception to set up the score.
DeSales’ Tyler West scored on a 9-yard run in the first overtime but Elberson hit Michael Vlahakis for a 23-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 14.
Elberson then ran in from 3 yards in the second overtime to make it 21-14, but DeSales’ J.T. Blubaugh tied it at 21 on a 9-yard run.
DeSales got the ball to begin the third overtime, and Blubaugh ran for 3 yards on the first play, but Perrine threw incomplete on the next two attempts.
On fourth-and-7 from the 17, Adam Acquista missed a 34-yard field goal.
Watterson was stopped for a 1-yard loss on third-and-goal from the DeSales 3 by Griff Saunders before Harper’s game-winning field goal.
“This game always come to a few plays, and they made literally one more play than we did,” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “It’s a tough one to lose.”
“It was all momentum,” Elberson said. “The crowd was going crazy and we just had to show toughness.”
D--Perrine 7 run (Acquista kick)
W--Golden 2 run (Harper kick)
D--West 9 run (Acquista kick)
W--Vlahakis 23 pass from Elberson (Harper kick)
W--Elberson 3 run (Harper kick)
D--Blubaugh 9 run (Acquista kick)
W--Harper 21 FG