SALEM, Va. —
The single wing of Giles plucked victory from the jaws of the Bulldogs.
Even the Spartans aren't sure how they finished on top of this one, defeating Brunswick 20-19 in overtime to claim the 2A state championship on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon at Salem
Stadium with much of the population from Giles County in the stands.
"It was just a tough ball game," Giles head coach Jeff Williams said. "How we won it, I will have to go back and watch the tape myself to see."
Not only did Giles win the school's four state championship and first since 2005, but the Spartans also finished with a perfect 15-0 record on the season.
"It is special first for our kids, it is special for our school and it is special for those fans up there," Williams said. "I get emotional when I talk about our fans. They are just so supporting.
"We must have seen a thousand signs on the road coming over here. Just to win it for our players and our coaches and our school and our fans. It is just huge."
Trailing 13-7 with the Spartans down to a final play, Tyler Perdue lofted a pass into the left corner of the end zone to Dakoda Shrader, who leaped into the air, caught the ball and landed in the
end zone with 1 second left on the clock.
"It was just throw the ball up and go get it, that was about it," said Shrader, who had left the game only minutes before with a shoulder injury. "We had good blocking from the offensive line, we had a great run to get the ball down to about the 15 and put faith in Tyler Perdue."
That highlighted an 8-play, 49-yard drive that took 54 of the 55 seconds that were left on the clock. Brett Whitlow then pulled the extra point attempt to the left, leaving the score tied at 13-13 going into overtime.
"First of all, the play before that I had (Dusty) Boggess wide open and I just overthrew him," Perdue said. "I got another chance at it and Dakoda made a play."
Giles got the ball first in overtime, running the ball three times from the 10, with Brian Mann bullying his way in from the 3. Whitlow made the extra point for the 20-13 lead.
"We just tried to go in there as hard as we could" Mann said. "We didn't change any of our schemes, we just kept going, trusted in the offensive line and we got it."
Brunswick answered in overtime with Darren Owens connecting with Quantrel Hardy for a 9-yard touchown. Darren Hays, who didn't get a chance to kick an extra point when the Bulldogs took a 13-7 lead in the fourth after a bad snap, made the extra point, but a penalty nullified the play.
His next attempt sailed wide right, and Spartans ran to the middle of the field celebrating Giles' fourth championship and first since 2005.
"It was amazing," Mann said. "It went right and we just stormed the field, it was awesome."
Brunswick (12-3), which was playing in its first state championship, never trailed in the game until the overtime period.
"It was a hard fought game between two teams that wanted it and they came out on top this time," Brunswick head coach Harold Williams said. "I told the team in preseason camp they had a chance to do something special and they lived up to it all year."
Giles had been used to big plays all season from its single wing attack, but the Spartans _ which had 240 yards on 51 carries _ managed just four plays over 10 yards against the Bulldogs, and 18 and 14 on two pass completions, both on the final drive by Perdue.
"Hats off to that bunch down there, that is a helluva football team," Jeff Williams said. "They are physical, athletic, they are big, they are strong and we had to get in there and battle it out tonight to win. It was just a tough win."
Brunswick struck first against the Spartans in the opening quarter, led by sophomore quarterback Darren Owens, who accounted for 155 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another.
His screen pass to Daylan Owens with Shrader draped on him led to a 20-yard gain, and he followed with a strike to Jakal Williams along the left sidelines, and he cut across the field and dived into the end zone for the 34-yard touchdown. Hays' extra point put the Bulldogs up 7-0 with 2:51 on the clock.
Giles was able to muster its only sustained drive midway through the second quarter, which included runs of 29 and 14 yards by Brett Whitlow, who led all backs with 120 yards on the ground. The Spartans faced 4th-and-5 from the 13 and got a break on a false start call on the Brunswick. On the very next play, Mann followed his blockers around the right side for the 8-yard score. Whitlow followed with the extra point conversion and the teams went into the break tied at 7-7.
The teams combined for eight turnovers, including five by Giles. Shrader recovered a fumble by Brunswick on the opening kick of the half, giving the Spartans the ball at the 23, but could do nothing with it. That was the case for both teams throughout the game.
"There were opportunties with some fumbles that we didn't take advantage of, not because of us, but because they are tough defense," Jeff Williams said. "You have got to get in there and block them, they get off blocks well and they get to the ball, you just have to get in there and get 4 or 5 yards a crack on them and you have got to protect the ball."
Brunswick went back on top on its first drive of the fourth quarter with the Bulldogs' no-huddle offense, led by a pair of 13-yard runs by Jamari Stith, and Owens finished off the 8-play, 74-yard drive by dashing through the middle for 29 yards and the 13-7 advantage. The extra point try never materalized because of a bad snap.
Giles lost a fumble and interception in the final period, including a Mann pass picked off by Brunswick's Daquan Steward at their own 21-yard line with 2:11 to go. The Spartans used a pair of
timeouts to preserve time, forced a punt and took over the ball at the Bulldogs' 49 with 55 seconds on the clock.
"We stayed pretty calm the whole way down," Perdue said.
The Spartans, which had thrown six passes and had four picked off up to that point in the game, came out with Perdue at quarterback, and he rolled out of trouble and hit Dusty Boggess for 18 yards. Brunswick stopped them three times from the 31, but Whitlow was able to get loose on 4th-and-9 and dashed 16 yards to the 30 with 24 seconds to go.
"I was watching how they were sitting back and I knew we had time to run two plays so we will pop an inside run on them and get a first down and then take a shot at it and it worked out for some reason," Jeff Williams said.
Whitlow followed by spiking the ball, Perdue then overthrew Boggess in the end zone, leaving the Spartans with third down and eight seconds on the clock. Perdue then rolled to the left, threw the ball high into the end zone and the 6-foot Boggess jumped up and brought it down for the touchdown with 1 second to go.
"We know we have got a kid that could catch a ball like that and he just made a great catch and we made a great throw," Jeff Williams said. "We missed a daggone extra point to probably win the game, but we got it to overtime and scored and they scored and they missed.
"I don't know, it comes out kind of even I reckon, but it ain't because I reckon we came out on top."
Mann followed the overtime touchdown, with Whitlow making the extra point. Brunswick followed with a score, and made the extra point, but the Bulldogs _ which had seven penalties to five for Giles — had another costly miscue. Another penality nullified a punt return for a score in the second quarter.
The next attempt by Hays sailed to the right, and the Spartans were state champions.
"That is the nature of football," Brunswick's Harold Williams said. "The ball bounces that way sometimes, we just have to get stronger and come back."
Jeff Williams was able to complete a trifecta, having now won a state title at Giles as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He was the recipient of a water bath by Tanner Martin and his nephew, Hunter Epperly.
"It just a tough, hard-fought ball game for both sides of the ball for both teams," Williams said. "We are are just lucky and fortunate enought to come out on top."
Thirteen Giles seniors played their final game on Saturday. What a way to go out.
"I knew it would be good, I knew they were going to be fast and they were going to be good," Perdue said. "It is my senior year, it is an amazing way to go out...I will always remember this,
I will always talk about it to everybody down the road. I will never forget this."
Neither will anyone else in the Spartan Nation.
"We can't do anything without the fans so they have made Spartan football what it is," Mann said. "We just came out on top."
at Salem Stadium
Brunswick.....................7 0 0 6 6 — 19
Giles..............................0 7 0 6 7 — 20
BW - Jakal Williams 34 pass from Darren Owens (Darren Hays kick) 2:51
GL - Brian Mann 8 run (Brett Whitlow kick) 1:30
BW - Owens 29 run (kick failed) 9:26
GL - Dakoda Shrader 14 pass from Tyler Perdue (kick failed) 0:01
GL - Mann 2 run (Whitlow kick)
BW - Quantrel Hardy 9 pass from Owens (kick failed)
First Downs: BW 15; GL 15. Rush-Yards:BW 34-177; GL 51-240. Pass Yards: BW 89; GL 34. Comp-Att-Int: BW 6-16-3; GL 2-10-4. Fumbles-Lost: BW 1-1; GL 3-0. Penalty-Yards: BW 7-50, GL 5-35. Punts-Avg. BW 4-28.8; GL 3-38.3.
Rushing: BW Darren Owens 10-66, Jamari Stith 9-45, Haywood Townes 7-38, Jakal Williams 8-28; GL Brett Whitlow 21-120, Brian Mann 16-82, John Teats 6-22, Tyler Perdue 8-16.
Passing: BW Owens 6-16-3 int-89-2 td; GL Tyler Perdue 2-8-2 int-34-1 td, Brian Mann 0-2-1 int-0-0 td.
Receiving: BW Jakal Williams 4-60, Jamari Stith 1-20, Quantrel Hardy 1-9; GL Dusty Boggess 1-18, Dakoda Shrader 1-14,
Turnovers: BW Dajuan Steward 2 int, Javonte Hargrove int, Charles Allen int, Daylan Owens fr;
GL Tyler Perdue int, Brian Mann int, Dakoda Shrader fr., Zach Simmons blocked punt.
SALEM, Va. —
The single wing of Giles plucked victory from the jaws of the Bulldogs.
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