LILBURN — Matt Morris played the hero for King’s Ridge Christian on Friday.
After picking off a Providence Christian pass on third-and-goal in the Storm’s overtime possession, Morris dashed between defenders for 14-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers a 20-14 win.
“I just saw the hole and went to the outside,” said Morris, who gained 35 yards on seven carries for the Tigers. “I got the perfect blocks from my teammates and just put it in the end zone.”
King’s Ridge (1-1) was unable to win in regulation after driving down to the 4-yard line with 3 seconds left on the clock. Julian Joseph, who led all rushers with 117 yards on 22 carries, made a key run on the second play of the drive, scampering 40 yards to move his team to the Providence 24 with less than 2:30 to go in the game. However, after bleeding the clock with the ground game, Logan Hewlett’s 21-yard attempt was blocked.
“That game was exhausting, I’ll tell you that,” King’s Ridge coach Jeff Pickren said. “But it was a lot of fun. I’m really proud of both teams. Neither team ever quit. Obviously it went to overtime. This is one of those games when you’re sad that one team has to lose because both groups of kids gave the kind of effort that was worthy of winning.”
The big play seemed to give Providence (1-1) some momentum going into overtime. But after an opening 12-yard run by Joe Shealy to get the Storm to first-and-goal at the 3, two runs gained nothing and Ryan Rose's pass was intercepted by Morris on third down. The interception was just one mistake too many for the Storm to come out with a win.
“I hate it, obviously, for the guys and for the fans,” Providence coach Parker Conley said. “To watch us fight, we got knocked around a good bit. Mostly I feel like we put the pressure on ourselves. That’s the disappointing thing because we prepared hard, we worked hard.
“But hat’s off to King’s Ridge. They played hard. They were able to execute plays when it mattered.”
The Tigers got their first lead of the game with 9:27 to go in the fourth quarter on a 10-play, 52-yard drive that was kept alive with a 31-yard completion on fourth down from Braxton Chadwick to Morris, the only completion of the night for King’s Ridge. Chadwick ran the ball in from two yards out, and the extra point gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead.
Both Providence and King’s Ridge were unable to get into scoring range despite starting near midfield on each of their next possessions. But Providence struck fast to tie the game when it got the ball back with 3:08 to play at its own 35-yard line.
Rose (8-for-15, 140 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) found Skyler Jordan open across the middle, and the junior wide receiver broke a number of tackles running down the field and was eventually brought down at the 8-yard line, a gain of 57 yards. Rose and Jordan hooked up again on the next play for a TD, and Jordan put the extra point through for a tie at 14-14.
Providence used an eight-play, 65-yard drive on its first possession to get on top of King’s Ridge in the first quarter. Aided in part by three King’s Ridge penalties on the drive, Rose found Jordan open in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown. After the extra point by Jordan, the Storm led 7-0.
The teams traded possessions following the opening score, both going three and out and then punting after five plays on their next possessions.
Chadwick (22 carries, 57 yards, 2 TDs) led his team on a 16-play, 83-yard drive in the second quarter to tie the game before halftime. Chewing up 7:14 off the clock, Chadwick kept the ball on 2nd and goal from the 2-yard line and punched it in for a TD. The extra point knotted it up with 15 seconds to go before the break.
KING’S RIDGE 20, PROVIDENCE 14 (OT)
King’s Ridge 0 7 0 7 6 — 20
Providence 7 0 0 7 0 — 14
Providence: Skyler Jordan 21 pass from Ryan Rose (Jordan kick) 4:14
King’s Ridge: Braxton Chadwick 2 run (Logan Hewlett kick) 0:15
King’s Ridge: Chadwick 2 run (Hewlett kick) 9:27
Providence: Jordan 8 pass from Rose (Jordan kick) 2:40
King’s Ridge: Matt Morris 14 run