Rebels rally for triumph over E.P.
Matt Thompson scored with 13 seconds left to give Crestview a 28-24 victory.
By JOHN BUTERA
EAST PALESTINE -- In a game that could go a long way in deciding the Tri-County League championship, missed extra points and a controversial call were pivotal.
Trailing 24-21 in the fourth quarter, the Crestview High football team mounted an impressive 65-yard drive capped by Matt Thompson's touchdown with 13 seconds remaining to give the Rebels a 28-24 victory over East Palestine.
The Rebels (4-1) are 2-0 in the Tri-County League while the Bulldogs (3-2) fell to 1-1 in the league.
On the final drive, Crestview quarterback Seth Antram turned in one of the game's biggest plays.
Faced with a third-and-11 from the East Palestine 45-yard line, Antram found Josh Louk for a 31-yard completion.
Controversial call: With a first-and-goal at the 7 with less then a minute remaining, Antram was sacked by the East Palestine defense as he threw the ball away.
The officials ruled an incomplete pass to give the Rebels new life.
"I can't comment on the call," East Palestine coach Brian Blevins said. "It would just get me in trouble."
The Crestview drive covered 65 yards in 15 plays as the Rebels ran the clock from 5 minutes, 45 seconds down to 13 seconds.
The Rebel uprising overshadowed a tremendous effort by Bulldogs quarterback Smitty Kendrew, who was 9-of-17 for 163 yards.
Kendrew also scored a touchdown in addition to throwing for two others.
East Palestine's Pat Brennan caught a 27-yard scoring strike. He finished the game with three catches for 91 yards.
Balance: Trailing 21-18 with 10:40 to go, East Palestine began its best drive of the year as Kendrew used a mix of running and passing to advance the Bulldogs from their own 20 to the Crestview 22.
On a four-and-2, J.D. Powers rushed for three yards to give the Bulldogs a first down at the 19.
Kendrew then faked into the line before finding a wide open Anthony Thompson in the front corner of the endzone, giving East Palestine its only lead, 24-21, with 5:35 remaining.
"I thought we were going to win it," Kendrew said. "I thought we had it."
Crestview dominated the first half. Louk scored two touchdowns and the Rebels led 15-0 to begin the second quarter. Louk finished with 115 yards on 22 carries.
In the opening quarter, Crestview held a 25-4 lead in plays, and a 132-5 spread in total offense. Time of possession favored the Rebels 10:43 to 1:17.
Ahead 21-6 with 35 seconds remaining in the first half, Crestview attempted a pass that was picked off by the Bulldogs' Greg Harris.
Just before the half expired, Kendrew tossed a 27-yard scoring strike to Brennan to cut the Rebels lead to 21-12 at intermission.