Flying Squadron refuels for 22-15 win

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004

G.W. Long place kicker Dewayne Blackmon booted a 23-yard field goal to give the Rebels a slim 15-13 lead over Highland Home with 2:17 showing on the fourth-quarter clock.

But the Squadron (3-5, 3-3) refused to go down without a fight.

After returning the ensuing kickoff to its own 40-yard-line, a win seemed lost for Highland Home as three straight passes fell short of their mark. So with the Flyboys offense facing fourth-and-10 and a direct possibility of not making their 12th consecutive playoff appearance, Coach Bob Farrior and his staff dug into their bag of tricks.

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Senior receiver Tony Merriweather, off a reverse play, connected with Jessie Webb five yards behind the Rebels' secondary, who then raced 60 yards into the end zone to give the visitors the lead with 1:21 remaining in the game.

With the jubilant Squadron faithful celebrating in the stands the all important two-point conversion was good as quarterback Deymond Sankey ran around left end untouched to pad Highland Home's lead, 21-15.

Up by a touchdown, the spirited Squadron defense completely dominated the Rebels on their next series, as they failed to gain a first down, turning the ball over on downs with 53 seconds to go in the game. Highland Home ran out the clock to capture the win.

After going into the locker room down 12-0, the Squadron set the scenario for a dramatic second-half comeback.

With 6:38 to go in the third quarter, Merriweather outraced the Rebels' defense for 76 yards for the Squadron's first score of the night. Place kicker Clemmie Nichols' point after kick was way short, as HHHS cut into G.W. Long's lead, 12-6.

On the following drive, the Squadron's rugged defense penetrated the Rebels' offensive unit on three consecutive plays to force the punt.

Highland Home took its first lead of the night with 2:10 to go in the third stanza when Sankey hit Derrick Dulaney with an 83-yard scoring strike. The rest of the game was history in the making.

After starting the season 1-5 overall and 1-3 in Class 2A, Region 3 play, the young Squadron managed back-to-back region victories to improve to 3-3 in region play.

Highland Home will finish up region play tomorrow night as they host B.B. Comer (0-8, 0-6) at 7 p.m. at Clay-Jordan Stadium.