The Halifax County Middle School Lions took on GW-Danville Middle School and won in overtime with a final score of 22-16 to claim the Jr. Piedmont District championship Wednesday.
The Lions roared to an undefeated 8-0 season.
“All we want is the kids to hustle every play, they faced a lot of adversity tonight but were still able to get the win, I’m very proud of them,” said head coach Kenneth Day.
Quarterback Amarion Harris had one rushing touchdown in the victory, and running back Montavious Marrero added another rushing touchdown. Quarterback Keshaun Davis scored the biggest touchdown of the season in overtime keeping it himself for a quarterback sneak.
The Lions were able to get the victory behind their stifling defensive efforts forcing turnover after turnover as they intercepted the Danville quarterback three times and forced three fumbles with their effort.
Halifax held Danville scoreless for much of the game but could not stop them from scoring in the last four minutes.
The Lions gave up a rushing touchdown and a two-point conversion with 3:38 left in the fourth and then another rushing touchdown and another two-point conversion with 2:28 left in the game.
After the Danville touchdown and two-point conversion with 2:28 left, the game was tied 16-16 as the Lions got the ball back for the last 2:28 of the game.
The Lions were able to run the clock out but could not get into scoring range before the end of the fourth quarter.
Danville won the coin toss in overtime and would set up at the 10-yard line only needing a touchdown to win the game.
On the first play of the overtime period, Danville fumbled the football and Halifax jumped on it to gain possession.
It was now the home teams’ turn at the 10-yard line only needing a touchdown to claim the Jr. Piedmont District championship.
Halifax’s calls were consistent with the running game, play after play.
The Lions were pushed back to the 15-yard line but were bailed out by a face mask penalty from the opposing team.
The penalty gave the Lions a first down at the 10-yard line and the offense decided they weren’t going to give Danville another possession.
Anthony Wilborn was able to break free on third down and get the Lions all the way to the one-yard line before being taken down short of the goal line.
The Jr. Piedmont District championship came down to the fourth down where the Lions look over to the sideline for the play call.
Davis came in to take the snap and the play call was a quarterback sneak on fourth down. The Lions offensive line began to push Davis, who was eventually knocked down as the referees ran over to the pile up to see the spot of the football.
After seconds of waiting for the call — which felt more like minutes — the referees ruled the run a touchdown. Davis was able to walk it off for the Lions on the final play of the game on fourth down, quite possibly the biggest play of his football career up to this point.
“I like to run the football so that final touchdown feels great,” said Davis.
Halifax fans jumped out of the stands shouting and applauding their team while players and coaches rushed the field to celebrate with their teammates.
After the conclusion of the game, the Lions were awarded the Jr. Piedmont District championship trophy.
“This game meant a lot to me, my brothers were playing with me, and we got the win,” Davis concluded.
Day said, “All I want is the kids to be happy, I am very proud of how they played tonight.”