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Falcons lose close game to North Hopkins in overtime

by Kory Gibbs, Courier staff

Ft Campbell Courier
Fort Campbell, KY | November 8, 2016

It was high energy at Fryar Stadium as the Fort Campbell High School Falcons took the field for the last game of regular season football against Madisonville-North Hopkins Maroons Friday night. This game determined who the Falcons would be facing in the playoffs next week.

North Hopkins got on the scoreboard early with a touchdown on the first play after an onside kick at the beginning of the game. The Falcons answered back with a rushing touchdown by Falcons quarterback Abdel Howard Jr. to tie the game 7-7.

The game stayed tied until almost halfway through the second quarter when the Maroons reached the end zone again. They were unsuccessful with the extra point attempt, which had them up by six points on the Falcons.

It did not take Fort Campbell very long to even up the score and then take their first lead of the game with a long run by junior running back Denoris Buchanan. The touchdown made the score 14-13, after making the extra point. The Falcons’ defense held off a number of Maroons’ offensive advances, and built a bigger lead getting another touchdown with a deep pass by Howard to senior receiver Kevin Moon, just before halftime.

The Falcons went into halftime leading 20-13. North Hopkins tied the game once again in the third quarter with a rushing touchdown. Just when it looked like the momentum was shifting toward the Maroons, the Falcons capitalized on good field position and recaptured the lead from another rushing touchdown by Howard, which brought the score to 27-20.

North Hopkins proved that they were not going to go away so easily, as they managed to tie the game once more with six minutes left in the game. Both teams were going all out to get the advantage. Both teams were close to capturing the win, but solid defense prevailed.

Fort Campbell had the ball with a minute left and they were pushing down the field. It looked like they were closing in on the end zone, but an interception kept them from getting the victory in regulation time.  The score was still tied 27-27 going into overtime.

The Falcons won the coin toss and got possession at the 10-yard line first, but were stopped by the Maroons on three downs and forced to attempt a field goal. Fort Campbell missed the field goal. It was then up to the Falcons’ defense to stop the Maroons to keep the game going.

North Hopkins scored a touchdown on the third down and clinched their fourth victory of the season. The final score was 33-27. The Falcons finished the regular season with a 1-3 division record and an overall record of 2-8.

“It was a tough loss, I am upset for these kids but they’re keeping their heads up,” said FCHS Head Football Coach Josh McKillip. “We were going against a team that was much bigger, but we still managed to make big plays and kept ourselves in the game.”

Howard said that their execution was key for the success of the team.

“We tried to execute the game plan that coach had us practice,” The quarterback said. “Everybody played their part and that is why we made the plays we did.”

McKillip said this was a game between two evenly matched teams and it could have gone either way, but he and the team are looking toward the next game.

The Falcons are facing Elizabethtown 7:30 p.m. Friday at Elizabethtown in the first round of playoffs.

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