Chiefs tame Tigers with comeback win, 20-19
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
After a fourth quarter come-from-behind win last week, the Chiefs did it again. Only this time it took a blocked field goal against Chipley High School with 48 seconds to go in the game to keep them on a winning pace.
The victory gives the Chiefs not only a 2-0 start on the year and a 1-0 district record.
The blocked field goal was only the final in a long line of dramatic plays for the Chiefs. Perhaps the most important play was when quarterback Kyle Williams connected with Nick Gradia on fourth down and goal from the Tiger 2-yard line to take a 20-19 lead with only 1:48 to go in the game.
When Dawson Chavers returned a punt to the Chiefs' 47-yard line on their second possession, Kyle Williams made his first completion of the night as he hit the teams top receiver, Jonathan Andrews for a 34-yard gain to the Tigers' 19. Lindor took the following play for a 5-yard gain followed by a 3-yard pickup by Wright. Looking at third down and 2 yards to go, the Chiefs used their second time out. It paid off as Lindor picked up another 6 yards on the next play to the 2-yard line and a first down. The Chiefs kept ramming it down the middle and on third and half a yard, Lindor stuck it in for a 6-0 lead. John Madison's point after was good, giving Northview a 7-0 lead with 4:42 to go in the first quarter.
Chipley looked like they were about to get a drive going on the following possession, but a holding penalty killed their momentum and forced them to punt.
The Chiefs took possession at their own 19-yard line. They drove the ball all the way to the Tigers' 37-yard line. But, an unsportsman-like conduct penalty took them back to the 48 where they fumbled away the football, giving Chipley good field position.
On second down and 11 from the Chiefs' 32, the Chipley quarterback put the ball under his arm and ran around the right side and outran everyone on the field to put the Tigers on the board. The PAT was good and the score was tied at 7-7 with 10:13 to go in the first half.
The Chipley defense answered the challenge on Northview's following possession, forcing them to punt.
Starting at their own 38-yard line, the Tigers marched the ball down field steadily on the Chief defense. The only play that was not for a positive gain was an illegal procedure call that began the drive. But, the Chiefs defense came through with the play they needed. On third down and eight from the Chiefs' 8-yard line, Chase Lashley gets to the Tigers' speedy quarterback and as he makes the tackle the ball squirts into the air. The fumble is picked up by Tony Stallworth who brings it back to the Chiefs' 33-yard line.
But, the defense got a short break as Williams' next pass was a deep one that sailed over the head of Andrews and into the hands of a Tiger defender at the 26-yard line.
The Chiefs weren't going to let Chipley drive on them this time as they held them on three plays, forcing a punt. The ball was kicked to Wright who returned it to the Chief 43-yard line.
With 1:04 to go in the half, Williams looked down field to Nick Gradia who hauled it in for a 23-yard gain. After two incompletions, and with 29 seconds to go, the quarterback once again looked to Andrews for the go-ahead score. The PAT was good and Northview held a 14-7 lead.
But, Chipley began the second half with 72 yard drive and capped it off with a quarterback keeper into the end zone. But, Northview held on to the lead as the point after attempt was no good, making the score 14-13.
Northview's offense came out sputtering in the second half. After gaining no yardage on the possession, the Chiefs were forced to punt. The punt was a good one, but the Chipley return man brought it down field and with the help of a devastating block at midfield, he ran the ball all the way down to the Chiefs' 6-yard line. Two plays later the Tigers took their first lead of the game. A two-point conversion attempt was snuffed out by the Northview defense for a loss, making the score 19-14.
Northview's offense began to get back on track on their next possession as they drove the ball all the way to the Tiger 27-yard line. An illegal procedure call backed the ball up and on fourth down and ten, Williams pass to Gradia was not in sync, giving the Tigers possession at there.
The Tigers drove to midfield before being forced to punt.
Once again the Northview offense struggled going three plays before punting. Madison's punt was the best of the night, sailing over the returners head, giving Chavers time to get down field and make a great open-field tackle at the 34-yard line.
On the very first play, Chipley dropped the ball giving Northview another shot with eight minutes to go in the game.
Wright got the hand-off on the first three plays which he took for a total of 20 yards. Then, on the Tigers' 15-yard line, the Chiefs dropped the ball well behind the line of scrimmage. Several Chipley players touched the ball in an attempt to make a recovery, but somehow another Chief managed to fall on top of it.
But, the play seemed to have hurt the Chiefs' chances as they now looked at a third down and 23 to go. That was when K. Williams found his big tight end Eric Jefferson for a pickup of 20 yards. With five minutes to go, Northview needed a first down to keep the drive going. Once again, the quarterback looked to Andrews for the big play. As he threw the ball to the left side of the end zone where Andrews had cut to the inside. As the pas fell incomplete, the referee saw some untimely defensive play and threw a flag. The interference call gave the Chiefs half the distance to the goal and, most importantly, a new set of downs.
From the 7-yard line, K. Williams hit Lindor for a 5-yard reception to the 2-yard line. Two consecutive hand-offs to Wright did not get the Chiefs anywhere as the Tigers held them at the 2.
With 3:22 to go, and facing another fourth down, the Chiefs fooled the Tiger defense with a perfectly-executed play action play. As the two lines merged in the middle of the field, K. Williams took the ball and found Gradia wide open as he ran toward the left side of the endzone with the nearest defender about five yards away.
The Chiefs opted to go for the extra point instead of the two-point conversion. The kick was too low, but the Chiefs still held a one-point advantage 20-19 with just under three minutes to play.
The Tigers got a good return on the following kickoff to their own 40-yard line.
They marched down field to the Chiefs' 26. Gradia came through with a big play as he sacked the Tiger quarterback for 3-yard loss. From the 29, CHS used their final timeout with 2:05 to go.
On second down and seven, the hand-off went to the runningback who picked up just over six yards, but not enough for a first down. On third and inches, the Chipley line moved the Northview defense backward for a first down.
With the clock ticking and no timeouts, the speedy Chipley quarterback tried to make things happen. But, he was caught by the Northview defense for no gain and the following play went for an incomplete pass which stopped the clock with one minute to go. Another incomplete pass set up fourth down.
With 48 seconds to go, Chipley lined up from the 19-yard line for a game-winning field goal. But, as the ball was snapped Mandel Smith charged toward the kicker and put his hands in the air. As the ball sailed off the foot of the kicker it immediately met with Smith's hand, causing the ball to sail straight into the air where it was brought down by a Chipley player who was immediately tackled along the line of scrimmage.
After two kneel-downs and a Chipley penalty, the Chiefs were celebrating their second victory of the season.
Coach Williams said the longer his team can pull out victories, the tougher they are going to get.