Crater comes back in OT win over Eagle Point
EAGLE POINT — What started as a night so promising for Eagle Point against rival Crater was met with a reminder from the Comets of why they’ve been an elusive team to beat in recent memory.
The Eagles dominated the first 24 minutes behind a potent passing game orchestrated by junior quarterback Caiden Lacey and a stingy defense that gave up little to the Comets, who trailed 10-0 early in the third quarter following a Jimmie Copeland 28-yard touchdown catch courtesy of Lacey, and a 22-yard field goal from kicker Jeremiah Cordle.
“We had a big wake-up call,” Crater senior Jimmy Jordahl said, “and it was what we needed.”
In a wild second half that included three turnovers, huge swings in momentum and an overtime period lasting all of six plays, Crater scored 17 unanswered points to take down Eagle Point 17-10 and extend a winning streak against the Eagles that started in 2016.
“I think Eagle Point is a really good football team,” Crater head coach Berk Brown said, “and they were down some guys tonight that really affected the outcome of the game. But the long and short of it is, our guys played harder, longer. They’ve got a really good football team, a really good coaching staff. I don’t think our guys took them lightly at all.”
Crater running back Caden Lasater scored the winning touchdown in the overtime period, a 6-yard rushing touchdown in which he ran over an Eagle Point defender en route to the end zone. Two plays later, an Eagle Point fumble ended up in the arms of senior defensive back Miles Jennings to seal the win.
Lasater’s touchdown was the crescendo of a second half when he found numerous running lanes after being held to 20 yards in the first half. Lasater ended the game with 111 yards on 24 carries.
“We came in at half, I talked to them about calming down and executing what we’ve worked on all week,” Brown said. “They came out in the second half, we controlled the ball, we controlled field position, we played great special teams, which is how we’re going to win football games.”
Crater (5-1, 5-0 Midwestern League) was unable to cash in on its first trip to the red zone in the third quarter after Eagle Point linebacker Josh Bayne recovered a Crater fumble on fourth down. But the Comets marched back down the field after forcing a three-and-out on Eagle Point.
Crater quarterback Javon Smith found tight end Tony Dowens sneaking behind the defense for a 25-yard touchdown to end the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the Crater defense began to pin its ears back and get after Lacey. Nathan James and Dowens each accounted for one sack, and Jordahl had two, the second of which forced a fumble that Lasater recovered. That led to Tony Perez drilling a 44-yard field goal to knot the game at 10-all with 8 minutes, 42 seconds left in the fourth.
“Halftime is when we rethink our game, when we rethink everything that we thought we knew and we go out with a new plan,” Jordahl said of the second-half adjustments. “It might’ve been the speech (from Brown), it could’ve been a million things, but whatever it was, during halftime is definitely what I believe fixed it.”
Eagle Point (2-4, 2-3 MWL) had two more chances to take a go-ahead score. The first drive lasting 13 plays stalled after Lacey exited the game briefly with an injury, and the Eagles turned the ball over on downs.
On the next drive, Crater defensive back Aiden Chenoweth intercepted Eagle Point on the Eagles’ side of the field and helped set up a potential 21-yard, game-winning field goal with four seconds left.
The kick missed wide left, but the momentum carried over for the Comets when they unleashed Lasater on three straight running plays to score the go-ahead touchdown in the extra untimed period.
“The late missed field goal didn’t stop our guys from believing we could win the football game, and that was obvious at the end,” Brown said.
Lacey ended the game 15-of-24 for 130 yards, with Copeland’s six catches for 69 yards leading the Eagles. Isaiah Hill had a team-high 21 carries for 74 yards.
Eagle Point0730 0—10
EP — Copeland 28 pass from Lacey (Cordle kick)
EP — Cordle 31 field goal
C — Dowens 25 pass from Smith (Perez kick)
C — Perez 44 field goal
C — Lasater 6 run (Perez kick)
Reach reporter Will Denner at 541-776-4479 or email@example.com.