Rams give up tying 99-yard touchdown with just seconds remaining
Havelock had the chance to put its opponent away with less than a minute remaining in the eastern 3A championship.
Instead, the Rams let it slip away with a 34-33 loss to Rocky Mount in triple overtime at Havelock High.
“We just made too many mistakes. Rocky Mount is a good football team and you can’t make mistakes like that against a good football team,” said Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant. “You give a good football team several different chances to score and let them hang around.”
Havelock, with a 17-10 lead, was stuffed at Rocky Mount’s 1-yard line with 32 seconds remaining on fourth-and-goal, turning the ball over on downs. Still, Rocky Mount had 99 yards to go in just 32 seconds to get the tying touchdown. As it turned out, the Gryphons didn’t need that much time.
On the next play, Gryphons’ quarterback Shabios Lynch tossed a 99-yard touchdown strike to Detrell Revis – his only reception of the game.
“We just had a blown coverage,” Bryant said. “We had everybody deep. One guy broke up and thought it was a short route,” Bryant said. “We made way too many mistakes and Rocky Mount deserves a lot of credit, but we helped them.”
One of those mistakes occurred in the third overtime. The Rams got Kendall Frazier’s 8-yard touchdown catch from Corey Cooper to lead 33-27, but the snap on the extra point attempt was high, and Christian Hoomana pushed the kick to the left.
Rocky Mount (13-2), the defending 3A state champion, got a rushing touchdown by Sherrod Greene, a University of South Carolina commit, and the extra point from Chase Miller to return to the state championship game.
“We can’t blame anybody. Everybody gave it 100 percent and that’s all we could ask for,” said senior defensive lineman Destin Flloyd. “This is how a game should be. You don’t have an easy road to the state championship, you have to earn it. Rocky Mount is a great team and they earned it.”
The Rams took a 17-10 lead with five minutes remaining.
Jeffrey Harris booted a 39-yard punt that was downed at the 1-yard line. Junior linebacker Tyiyon Johnson hit Rocky Mount’s quarterback, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Flloyd in the end zone.
“It felt great. It was a great momentum booster. I wish we would have come out on top,” Flloyd said.
Havelock stopped Rocky Mount on fourth down, getting the ball back at the Gryphons’ 27-yard line with less than two minutes to go.
The Rams advanced the ball to the 1-yard line, draining the rest of Rocky Mount’s timeouts, but failed to score.
“It was tough, it definitely burned,” Cooper said. “We left it out on the field, but we just made too many mistakes. The seniors did a great job of leading this team and I am proud of them.”
Rocky Mount led 10-7 late in the first half as Shyheim Battle returned an interception 20 yards to the end zone. Havelock tied the game at 10-10 in the third quarter on Hoomana’s 25-yard field goal. He also made a 30-yard field goal to tie the game in the second overtime.
Cooper completed 9-of-21 passes for 117 yards while gaining 83 rushing yards on 27 carries with a touchdown. Solomon Beligotti added a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the first overtime – the junior’s sixth in the past three playoff games.
“We told our guys that we were the best team Rocky Mount has played and Rocky Mount was the best we’ve played. They just made more plays in the end,” Bryant said. “The eastern finals are supposed to be two of the best teams in the state.”
Rocky Mount will play South Point at 11 a.m. on Dec. 17 at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem for the state championship.
Rocky Mount 34, Havelock 33, 3 OT
Rocky Mount 3 7 0 7 7 3 7 – 34
Havelock: 0 7 3 7 7 3 6 – 33
RM – Chase Miller 24 field goal, 5:26.
H – Corey Cooper 2 run (Christian Hoomana kick), 11:53.
RM – Shyheim Battle 20 interception return (Miller kick), 2:32.
H – Hoomana 25 field goal, 4:51.
H – Destin Flloyd 1 fumble return (Hoomana kick), 5:00.
RM – Detrell Revis 99 pass from Shabios Lynch (Miller kick), :18
H – Solomon Beligotti 2 run (Hoomana kick)
RM – DeAngelo Collins 10 run (Miller kick)
RM – Miller 27 field goal
H – Hoomana 31 field goal
H – Kendall Frazier 8 pass from Cooper (kick missed)
RM – Sherrod Greene 10 run (Miller kick)
Team stats RM H
First down 10 18
Rush-yards 42 –109 53–151
Passing yards 118 117
Comp.-Att.-Int. 3–10-0 9-21-1
Total yards 227 268
Punt-Ave. 4-37.0 5-39.2
Fumbles-lost 4-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 3-16 6-40
Passing: Rocky Mount: Shabios Lynch 3-10-0 118 TD; Havelock: Corey Cooper 9-21-1 117 TD.
Rushing: Rocky Mount: BJ Sanders 17-57, Sherrod Greene 8-24 TD, Deangelo Collins 5-20 TD, Charlie Williams III 6-19, Shabios Lynch 6 (-11); Havelock: Corey Cooper 27-83 TD, Montrece Gatling 7-27, Solomon Beligotti 14-20 TD, Cameron Hutchinson 5-21.
Receiving: Rocky Mount: Detrell Revis 1-99 TD, Artavious Richardson 2-19; Havelock: Kenyatta Frazier 1-35, Welton Spottsville 3-32, Khalil Barrett 2-23, Quinzel Lockhart 2-19, Kendall Frazier 1-8 TD.