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Heape's scramble lifts Indians to win over Tigers in OT

  • Josh Heape scores the winning touchdown in overtime Friday night.

    Josh Heape scores the winning touchdown in overtime Friday night.
    Doug Daniels / DuQuoinSports.com

  • Shamar Adams

    Shamar Adams
    Doug Daniels / DuQuoinSports.com


  • Doug Daniels / DuQuoinSports.com

  • Kadin Mays

    Kadin Mays
    Doug Daniels / DuQuoinSports.com

  • Chance Karnes

    Chance Karnes
    Doug Daniels / DuQuoinSports.com

  • Jackson Yates

    Jackson Yates
    Doug Daniels / DuQuoinSports.com

 
BY JOHN HOMAN
jhoman@localsouthernnews.com
updated: 9/8/2018 11:19 PM

Quarterback Josh Heape found a seam and scrambled 5 yards for a game-winning touchdown Friday as the Du Quoin Indians defeated the Herrin Tigers, 31-25, in overtime.

With the win, the Indians improve to 3-0 in their nonconference schedule, while the Tigers fall to 2-1.

Friday's game featured many ebbs and flows with the Indians dominating the first half, building a 19-10 lead by the intermission and then adding another touchdown midway through the third period for a 25-10 advantage, but then saw that lead evaporate over the final 18 minutes.

Herrin's Tate Johnson (17 carries for 100 yards) scored from 3 yards out with 8 seconds left in the third period. The Tigers pulled within two on a 1-yard run by Jackson Yates wit 1:27 left in regulation.

Following a time out, Tigers' quarterback Chance Karnes scored a two-point conversion off an option read to tie the score at 25.

Right before the extra period got underway, lightning in the area forced game officials to suspend the game. About 70 minutes later with a brief lull in the storm, the contest resumed.

Herrin had the ball first. Yates, who would finish with 111 yards on 33 carries after totaling 330 yards on 21 carries the previous week, ran for 2 yards on first down, 3 yards on second down and then fumbled after getting hit on third down, ending the Tigers' drive.

In Du Quoin's possession, Herrin jumped off sides, making it first and goal from the 5 for the Tribe.

Westly Milam was stuffed for no gain on first down and then Heape, who was looking for an open receiver, made a mad dash to the endzone for the game winner.

"It was an exciting win for us," said Indians head coach A.J. Hill. "Last year, it came down to a couple of plays against Herrin and it was the same thing tonight. Fortunately for us, we came out on top."

Heape enjoyed a big night throwing the football, completing 11-of-21 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns.

"We feel comfortable with Josh throwing the ball. He did a good job of throwing it up there and letting our receivers go up and get it," Hill said.

Top receiver for the Tribe was junior Dasani Edward, who snagged six catches for 130 yards and two scores. Shamar Adams had the other TD catch, a 39-yarder.

Du Quoin's ground attack was slowed by a stingy Herrin defense. Senior Westly Milam was held to 53 yards on 14 carries. Adams added 44 yards on seven attempts.

"I'm just thankful we got the game in. You never know how things are going to go after a 70-minute delay," Hill said. "I think that break was big for us. It came at the right time."

Herrin head coach Jason Karnes agreed that his ballclub had the momentum on its side had the OT not been delayed, but didn't use the break in action as an excuse for the loss.

While pleased with his team's comeback, he was disappointed by what he called "a lack of discipline," particularly on the defensive end, committing multiple off sides penalties and a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

"I'm not going to make any excuses. Du Quoin was more disciplined than us tonight," he said. "They're not going to shoot themselves in the foot," Karnes said. "Too many times tonight, on first down, we get a penalty. Just very undisciplined tonight. That's not Herrin Tiger football."

Du Quoin opened the scoring with a 39-yard pass play from Heape to Adams. The point-after-kick by Caldwell was good for a 7-0 lead with 9:59 to play in the opening quarter.

Herrin closed the gap to 7-3 when Jake Baumgarte drilled a 28-yard field goal with 0:21 left in the first period. Baumgarte would later misfire to the left on a 45-yard attempt.

Edward upped the lead to 13-3 with 11:08 to go in the second period on a 56-yard catch from Heape. The PAT failed.

Yates bolted into the endzone from 6 yards out with 10:18 left in the half. The kick was good, making the score 13-10.

The Indians scored again when Adams reached paydirt from 1 yard out with 8:23 left in the half. The two-point conversion pass failed, making the score 19-10.

Edward's 21-yard TD catch increased the margin to 25-10, setting the table for Herrin's rally that tied the game and forced the overtime period.

Herrin will play at Benton Friday in the Ohio Division of the River to River Conference opener for both teams.

The Indians will host Carterville in the Mississippi Division of the River to River Conference opener.