No. 2 Hylton scored 10 consecutive fourth quarter points and topped No. 18 Gar-Field by an extra point in overtime for a thrilling 17-16 home victory last night to extend its winning streak to 24 games and all but clinch the Cardinal District title.
Bulldogs senior Andy Wilfong knocked through the game-winning extra point more than 24 hours after the game had begun. Gar-Field had taken a 7-0 lead Friday before lightning postponed the game with 7 minutes 58 seconds left in the first quarter. Hylton never led until Wilfong's final kick.
Hylton (8-0, 4-0) won the toss before overtime and elected to defend first. Gar-Field, given four plays to score from the Bulldogs 10-yard line, found the end zone on third and four when sophomore quarterback Ryan Smith hit senior Elmore King on a four-yard slant pattern that gave the Indians a 16-10 lead. But a line drive extra point was blocked.
Hylton scored on its first overtime play, a 10-yard run around right end by junior D.J. Walton. On trotted Wilfong, who, after two short delays, coolly booted his 23rd extra point in 25 tries this season. Junior Jason Conlon provided an accurate snap and junior Jason Brown a clean hold.
Gar-Field (6-2, 3-1) tried to freeze Wilfong by calling timeout before the kick, and after lining up again, the officials threw a flag that they waved off. Wilfong was unfazed by the two delays.
"It didn't get to me at all," he said. "It was just like a practice extra point."
The lightning from the previous night seemed to have zapped Hylton of its usual offensive prowess. The Bulldogs gained just two first downs in the first half and remained scoreless until the fourth quarter, when a fumble recovery by junior Jason Kaminski helped set up a 21-yard field goal by Wilfong that made it 10-3.
Hylton scored again three minutes later, needing just five plays to travel 71 yards. Senior quarterback Kenny Irby, victimized by several dropped passes, found senior Alex Mason for a 20-yard gain and then on double play action connected with junior Karibi DeDe for a 47-yard pickup to the 3. Walton scored from there, and Wilfong kicked the extra point to tie the game at 10 with 7:22 left in regulation.
Gar-Field later bounced a snap on a punt attempt to give Hylton the ball at the Indians 33, a special teams gaffe somewhat reminiscent of the Virginia AAA Northwestern Region Division 6 championship last season when three high snaps resulted in three Gar-Field safeties in a 46-15 loss to Hylton.
After the botch last night, the Bulldogs advanced to the 20 before senior Curtis Collins picked off Irby to give the Indians another shot at a victory in regulation. Gar-Field turned the ball over on downs. Hylton reached the Indians 35, where, on fourth and four, DeDe dropped a screen pass to turn the ball back over to Gar-Field with 51 seconds to play.
In the game's lone possession Friday, Gar-Field took the opening kickoff and drove 82 yards in eight plays, all on the ground. Senior Larry Atkinson, whose 43-yard scamper keyed the drive, scored on a four-yard run with 7:58 left in the first quarter just before the lightning delays began.
Irby completed just one pass in the first half but completed six in the second half, five of them to Mason. Walton rushed for 76 yards. Larry Atkinson led the Indians with 106 yards.
Gar-Field entered the game giving up a district-low 55 points.