Curtis Collins, a senior utility player in his first year playing football, helped rescue the Gar-Field football team from a potentially damaging loss to Osbourn Park that would have marred not just the Indians' homecoming, but also their playoff hopes.

Instead, Collins's option pass set up Gar-Field's game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and his consecutive defensive stops on the Yellow Jackets' final possession keyed a 24-17 overtime victory for Gar-Field.

With Brooke Point losing to Culpeper last night, the Indians are virtually assured a spot in the postseason.

Sophomore Jamar Atkinson scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard reception from sophomore quarterback Ryan Smith in the third round of overtime. Osbourn Park had four downs from the 10-yard line to tie the game, but Collins decked senior Frankie Hogan to halt a five-yard run on first down and chased Hogan down for a two-yard loss on second down. The Yellow Jackets then threw two incomplete passes to end the game.

"We knew the defense had to do something," said Collins, who had previously just run track at Gar-Field. "I was not going to let them take our homecoming from us, so I gave them everything I had."

Each team scored a rushing touchdown in its first overtime possession. In the second round of overtime, both teams had 29-yard field goal attempts blocked.

The game could not have started worse for Gar-Field.

Just 2 minutes 11 seconds into the game, Gar-Field already had fumbled twice on three plays from scrimmage, and Osbourn Park had turned both turnovers into scores.

First, Billy Strickland recovered a botched handoff on Gar-Field's four-yard line, and junior Addam Jordan ran into the end zone on Osbourn Park's first offensive play. Then Gar-Field sophomore Jamar Atkinson fumbled on the Indians' 17-yard line, and Osbourn Park senior Sidney Evans recovered. The Indians' defense held, but junior place kicker Mike Kibble made it 10-0 with a 28-yard field goal.

Neither team could muster much offense. Osbourn Park totaled 67 yards rushing, 39 yards passing and two first downs in regulation. Gar-Field's offense totaled just 181 yards in regulation.

Osbourn Park junior quarterback Andy Friend completed his only pass of the first half to junior Billy Malcolm for a 24-yard gain--the Yellow Jackets' only first down of the first half.

Gar-Field managed a 27-yard field goal by junior Scott Gvozdas to get on the board shortly before halftime.

In the second half, Gar-Field's offense continued to sputter until Coach Tony Labozzetta called a trick play on third and 15 from the Indians 43-yard line. After taking a handoff on a reverse from Larry Atkinson, Collins evaded two Osbourn Park defenders and heaved the ball downfield to a wide-open Justin Smith for a 40-yard gain. Five plays later, Larry Atkinson punched the ball over the goal line from one yard.

"The guy grabbed me, but I was supposed to throw it, and I saw [Smith] wide open, so I shook him off and threw it," Collins said. "The defense had to get it done tonight because the offense had an off night. You don't know how badly I wanted this one."

OP--Jordan 4 run (Kibble kick)

OP--Kibble 28 FG

GF--Gvozdas 27 FG

GF--L. Atkinson 1 run (Gvozdas kick)

GF--L. Atkinson 1 run (Gvozdas kick)

OP--Hogan 2 run (Kibble kick)

GF--J. Atkinson 10 pass from R. Smith (Gvozdas kick)

RUSHING--Osbourn Park: Jordan 22-39, Hogan 7-25; Gar-Field: L. Atkinson 11-35, G. Johnson 9-53.

PASSING--Osbourn Park: Friend 3-4-0 39; Gar-Field: R. Smith 4-15-1 75.

RECEIVING--Osbourn Park: Malcolm 2-33, Hogan 1-6; Gar-Field: J. Smith 2-49, Johnson 1-14, L. Atkinson 2-12.