By Greg Pecko, MNFB.com
September 27, 2008
The Marple Newtown Tigers suffered a heartbreaking loss last night in the final thirty seconds of the game against the Springfield Cougars. The Tigers (0-5) put in a gritty and tough performance against the Cougars (2-3), but came up shy of a win with a 21-17 loss.
The Tigers opened the game with a big drive and their offense dominated the first half of the game. The Tigers jumped out to a 10-0 lead for most of the first half behind the stellar play of Junior quarterback Kevin Johnson and Senior tailback Phil Graziano. Johnson scored a touchdown in the first quarter on short option play that gave the Tigers a quick 7 points.
The Tigers would then grab 3 more points after a long drive that ended with a 30 plus yard field goal by Kicker Adam Fender. The Springfield Cougars would eventually answer with a touchdown of their own late in the 2nd quarter, but the Tigers defense played a solid game and were able to slow down and stop the Cougars for most of the half.
After a scoreless 3rd quarter for both teams that was dominated by both defensive squads the 4th quarter would be one for the ages. The Cougars were able to score on short run to take a 14-10 lead with just under 7 minutes left in the game.
The Tigers, however, would show their determination on an 11 play drive that ate up around three and a half minutes of clock and would give them another touchdown and a 17-14 lead. Kevin Johnson lead the drive and really broke through with a 25 yard pass to Carl Kasarsky that pushed the Tigers into Cougars territory and setup a final push into the end-zone.
The touchdown drive would be capped by another rushing touchdown by Johnson on a 2 yard option run with Johnson lowering his head into the end-zone. The hard fought game on both sides would then be decided in the final 2 minutes of play with the Cougars on offense.
The Cougars pushed their way into the Tigers red-zone with less than a minute to play and the Tigers Defense was able to dig in and force the Cougars to fight along the goal line for the final 40 seconds. The Tigers stopped the Cougars and 1st and 2nd downs along the goal line. Then on 3rd down, Carl Kasarsky broke up the Cougars pass attempt in the end zone.
However, on 4th down the Cougars ran a quick slant pattern and were able to score; a crushing blow to for a Tiger team that played well throughout the night.