Prince George's 4A
Suitland Edges C.H. Flowers in Overtime, 21-20
Sunday, October 11, 2009
In the minds of Suitland's football players, the ball could have gone anywhere. After the first deflection, or the second, Devontae Lindsey's overtime pass could have fallen incomplete, or been intercepted by someone from 19th-ranked C.H. Flowers.
Instead, the ball found the outstretched arms of Rams wideout Levern Jacobs, who was lying on the ground in the front of the end zone. The referees ruled the play a touchdown, and moments later junior Trudeau Smith kicked the winning extra point in Suitland's 21-20 road victory Saturday.
Afterward, the 10th-ranked Rams (5-1) said they believed there was only one explanation for the miraculous flight of that ball in overtime. Nick Lynch, the beloved Suitland coach who died in a car accident last December, made it happen.
"He smacked it back toward me," Jacobs said. "It hit me in the arms. That's all Coach Lynch right there."
Lindsey, a senior who led Suitland back from a 14-0 halftime deficit, said he had the same immediate reaction to Jacobs's catch.
"I knew it was Coach Lynch," the quarterback said. "I could feel him the whole game."
C.H. Flowers (5-1) had scored first in overtime on junior quarterback Thomas Lawrence's one-yard plunge, but the Jaguars failed on a two-point conversion, leaving them with a 20-14 lead.
On Suitland's first play of its overtime possession, which started at the 10-yard line, Lindsey threw a slant pass to Jacobs that hit off both Jacobs and the player covering him, and bounced toward another Jaguars defender. He couldn't make the game-ending interception, though, and when the ball bounced off of his hands, it landed where Jacobs had fallen.
C.H. Flowers coaches and players vociferously argued the touchdown ruling, saying the ball had hit the ground first, but it was no use.
They could only watch as Smith, a first-year football player who recently moved here from Jamaica, booted the game-winning extra point just over the crossbar.
The kick set off a celebration among Suitland's players, coaches and fans, and Smith even got a ride on his teammates' shoulders for a few moments. The moment was especially sweet for Smith because he had missed an extra point in regulation.
"I just stayed focused; my coach had told me not to worry about it," he said. "I just had to make up for [the miss] and do my best. . . . It felt great. I was elated."
No. 10 Suitland 21, No. 19 C.H. Flowers 20 (OT) Turning It Around: Suitland quarterback Devontae Lindsey was just 2 of 9 for 42 yards with an interception in the first half, but went 8 of 10 for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the second half and overtime. Running Hard: C.H. Flowers built a 14-0 halftime lead on rushing touchdowns from senior running back John Clark and junior quarterback Thomas Lawrence. Overall, the Jaguars outrushed the Rams, 177 to 118.