NEWPORT NEWS, VA., DEC. 5 -- Courtland High School missed two extra-point attempts, but made up for it by blocking a point-after attempt in overtime and beating Phoebus, 22-21, in a Virginia AAA Division 5 state semifinal game today.
The Cougars (12-1) face Northern Region Division 5 champion George Marshall in the championship game Saturday at Courtland.
Phoebus (10-3) rallied to overcome a 15-7 deficit and force overtime. The Phantoms drove 67 yards in the last four minutes, scoring on David Brown's one-yard run on fourth down with 41 seconds to play.
The Courtland defense stopped Phoebus quarterback Jeff Holloman short of the goal line on the two-point conversion, but the ball popped loose and wide receiver Mike Artis fell on it in the end zone to tie the game.
Courtland gained possession first in the overtime period, in which teams alternate possessions on the opposition's 10-yard line with four downs to score.
After two penalties, the Cougars faced third and 18. Quarterback J.C. Hall found Stephan Banks with a screen pass in the right flat, and Banks, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior, beat two defenders to the right corner of the end zone.
Brennden McGeehan, who had missed two conversions but kicked a 26-yard field goal, added the point after.
Phoebus responded with another fourth-down score, with Brown (28 carries for 191 yards) going over from one yard out. But J.P. Wykle's kick was batted down.
Banks, an all-state selection at defensive back, recovered a fumble to thwart an early drive and gave the Cougars good field position with his kickoff returns.
His 48-yard return on the opening kickoff set up the game's first score on Wendell Taylor's five-yard run.
Both teams came into the game with offenses averaging more than three touchdowns.
Courtland (12-1) 6 3 6 0 7 22 Phoebus (10-3) 0 7 0 8 6 21
C -- Taylor 5 run (kick failed)
P -- Wilson 19 pass from Holloman (Wykle kick)
C -- McGeehan FG 26
C -- Walker 6 run (kick failed)
P -- Brown 2 run (Holloman run)
C -- Banks 18 pass from Hall (McGeehan kick)
P -- Brown 1 run (kick failed)