WESTON -Eddie Vincent didn't know what or how to feel after a game he called the "best football game I've ever been a part of."
Stunned, yes. Sickened, OK. Heartbroken, most definitely. All those emotions just wrapped up to leave Vincent and his Lewis County High School players numb following a 14-13 loss to Point Pleasant here Friday, a game that just 11 measly seconds earlier appeared to be headed toward a happier ending for the Minutemen.
"The effort we gave tonight was probably the best effort I've ever seen," Vincent said. "This was hear-breaking. I am really heartbroken for (my players). This hurts."
Chris Santalucia had given Lewis County a 13-7 lead with just under three minutes to go in the game when he drilled a 30-yard field goal. The score had been initiated a few minutes earlier when Mark Metzgar scooped up an errant
Point Pleasant snap and rumbled to the 14-yard line.
Point Pleasant, 3-0, had to have a touchdown, and the goal line stripe was still 65 yards away following a kickoff that sailed out-of-bounds. A late-hit penalty against Lewis County took the ball closer to Point Pleasant paydirt.
Following timeouts by both teams, Point Pleasant lined up for a final play - fourth down and goal to go - from the 10-yard line with just 17 seconds left in the hard-fought contest. Heavy Lewis County pressure forced Point Pleasant's sophomore quarterback Aden Yates to scramble to his right. Yates, on a full sprint toward the sidelines, turned and threw back across his body and into a crowd of Lewis County defenders.
Yet, the ball seemed strongly attracted to the white jersey of Tylun Campbell waiting behind those three Lewis County players, striking him in the chest that caused his hands and body to collapse around the football as he fell to his knees in the end zone for the game-knotting touchdown.
"I don't know how he made that play," Vincent said. "We had guys all over it. I'll have to watch it on film to see how he made that play."
Collin Peal, the smallest player on the field at 120 pounds on a 5 feet, 4 inch frame, provided the biggest point of the night with his extra-point kick to allow the Big Blacks to escape Weston with a one-point win.
"We have to make this (loss) into a situation that motivates for the rest of the year," Vincent said. "We have to stay hungry."
Lewis County, 1-2, had taken a 10-7 lead midway through the final quarter on Santalucia's 20-yard field goal.
The Minutemen had deadlocked the game at 7 late in the third quarter on quarterback Braden Montgomery's 1-yard plunge into a group of both blockers and tacklers that somehow carried him into the end zone.
Point Pleasant had drawn first blood late in the opening quarter on Campbell's 1-yard run.
Lewis County travels to East-West Stadium on Sept. 14 to take on the Bees of East Fairmont.
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