Ozark, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Ozark Tigers defeated the Harrison Goblins on Friday night, 66-64, in a wild scoring frenzy. Neither team would have more than a ten-point lead the entire night. There were many lead changes throughout the night, with neither team willing to give in.
On the final play of the game, Ozark's Clint Godfrey found Chase Ramsdell for a 10-yard touchdown. It gave Ozark the win, and it was the final points of a fourth quarter that saw the two teams combine for 47 points.
“What’s going through our heads is that we’ve just got to score,” Ramsdell said. “We had not run the play we had called all night. We had faith in our coaches that it would work.”
“I had to stay calm and trust my receivers,” Godfrey said. “I knew they would get the job done. A game like this will make us realize that we can’t give up at any moment because even when you’re up by ten with a minute left, they still can come back.”
Ozark had the ball with 34 seconds left to go in the game, trailing 64-60. Marching down the field, with the aid of some costly Goblin penalties, the Tigers found themselves with the opportunity to win the game with the ball on the 10 yard line. With less than two seconds to go, Godfrey threw the ball to Ramsdell for the game-winning score.
Controversy would surround the touchdown as Harrison claimed Ramsdell came up short, while Ozark said he got in. The officials would huddle, talk about it, and then raise their hands, signaling touchdown for the Tigers. The place went crazy.
“I never wanted to think “we got this” because I knew they could score so fast, they’d been doing it all night,” said Harrison head coach Chad Harbison. “I knew when we left that much time on the clock, just under a minute, and then we gave them good field position and then we had some more penalties… it was just a crazy, crazy game.”
The first quarter saw both teams score two touchdowns, but Harrison would miss an extra point to trail 14-13 at the end of one. The scoring had just begun.
The second quarter the teams would combine for a total of 44 points. “Offensively, we did some good things and we got some things done,” said Ozark head coach Mark Bliss. “Harrison is a good football team and they’re going to win a lot of games.”
Harrison running back Michael Evert rushed for 271 yards, unofficially, and five touchdowns. Said Bliss: “It’s becoming a concern, us playing against a quality back like Evert. We may have to start playing more kids on one side of the ball rather than platooning players.”
After halftime, the third quarter saw both teams only score a touchdown each, which was a different pace for the game. The score after three was 43-40 in favor of the Goblins, but neither team was ready to call it quits.
The fourth quarter scoring began with Evert scoring one of his two touchdowns in the quarter when he ran 11-yards at the 9:55 mark, putting Harrison up, 50-40. Ozark would respond, scoring three straight touchdowns, two by senior Clint Godfrey and a 6-yard run by sophomore Quinton Wingert to give Ozark a seemingly comfortable 60-50 lead with 2:24 left to go in the game.
The Goblins would respond with 1:08 to go in the contest with a 41-yard touchdown run by Evert to close the gap to 60-57.
Harrison would then try an onside kick and recover it, sending the Goblin faithful into a frenzy. Silas Huskey, with 34.8 seconds, would catch a 19-yard pass from Brock Humphrey to cap the Goblins’ incredible comeback and silence the Ozark crowd. Harrison now led 64-60 and the Ozark fans’ hopes of victory were fading.
But the Tigers would come through in the final seconds, dealing the Goblins a heartbreaking loss.
“It’s tough," Harbison said. "The kids played hard, they kept fighting and kept fighting, and we just came up short right there on the last play of the game. It was just a tough loss. I’m proud of them. To me, they’re winners, they won tonight. I’ve been in some shootouts over the years, but not one like that, where it’s decided on the last play.”
“I’m just real proud of our kids, we bent a lot but we didn’t break at the end and that’s a testament to them. It was a great team effort tonight, especially offensively when we knew we only had 34 seconds left. It was a great job by our coaches and our kids finding a way to get it done. Sometimes that’s something you can’t coach – the kids’ have the will to win and they find a way,” said Bliss. “In 25 years I’ve never been in a game of this magnitude, with this kind of score.”
Ozark 66, Harrison 64
Harrison 13-24-6-21 --- 64
Ozark 14-20-6-26 --- 66
Harrison—Michael Evert 6-yard run (PAT no good)
Ozark—Quinton Wingert 9-yard run (PAT good)
Harrison—Evert 9-yard run (PAT good)
Ozark—Wingert 33-yard run (PAT good)
Harrison—Jordan Reeves 23-yard FG
Ozark—Caleb Essick 28-yard pass from Clint Godfrey (2 pt conv failed)
Harrison—Evert 71-yard run (PAT good)
Ozark—McCamey Freese 55-yard kickoff return (PAT good)
Harrison—Brock Humphrey 8-yard run (PAT good)
Ozark—Chase Ramsdell 55-yard pass from Godfrey (PAT good)
Harrison—Hunter Humphrey 23-yard pass from B. Humphrey (PAT good)
Harrison—B. Humphrey 2-yard run (PAT no good)
Ozark—Essick 8-yard run (PAT no good)
Harrison—Evert 11-yard run (PAT good)
Ozark—Godfrey 30-yard run (PAT no good)
Ozark—Godfrey 17-yard run (PAT good)
Ozark—Wingert 6-yard run (PAT good)
Harrison—Evert 41-yard run (PAT good)
Harrison—Silas Huskey 21-yard pass from B. Humphrey (PAT good)
Ozark—Ramsdell 10-yard pass from Godfrey (PAT not attempted)
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