E.A. Sports Today


Bearcats stage another fourth-quarter rally to tie the game, but fall on a two-point conversion in overtime

Shamar Spinks (7) scored Weaver’s game-tying touchdown with less than 90 seconds left in regulation. (All photos by Greg Warren)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER — As emotionally high as the Weaver football team felt last week in its double overtime win in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs, that’s how crushed the Bearcats felt Friday night.

The game played out eerily similar to what happened to them last week, except in the way it turned out in the end.

Colbert Heights’ Carson Shaw threw a halfback pass to Devin Holt for a two-point conversion in overtime that ripped out Weaver’s heart 36-35 at Bill Bryan Stadium.

The Wildcats (11-1) will now host top-ranked and two-time defending state champion Piedmont next week. It’s the first time they’ve gotten past the second round in school history.

Quarterback Dalton Hamby runs in one of the three touchdowns he scored for Weaver Friday.

“This is what teaches you about life,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said. “Life, one day you’re up here and the next day you’re down there. You never know how it’s going to hit you. That’s what sports teaches you.

“Coach (Larry) Ginn used to say this all the time over at Alexandria: A loss like this is the closest thing you can get to tragedy that you’re going to face in life. As an athlete it does help you to say get up and move forward. That’s what it’s going to do. It’s sad, we’re all going to cry, but it’s part of life; you’ve got to keep moving forward.

“We worked our tail off, we did the best we could. Things happened. Maybe we got caught up in some things but we fought back. It’s just what it is. This is life.”

The ending somewhat mirrored last week’s Weaver win at Plainview in that the Bearcats (7-5) went 55 yards with no time outs late in the fourth quarter and scored the game-tying touchdown with 1:27 to play. Last week, they went 75 yards with no time outs in the final three minutes and scored the tying TD and two-point conversion with five seconds left.

Shamar Spinks got the touchdown this week on a 13-yard run and Riley Benavides drilled the extra point through to tie the game. After the score, the Weaver defense didn’t let Colbert Heights get anywhere close to breaking their heart at the end of regulation.

Weaver got the ball first in this overtime and Dalton Hamby got into the end zone on third down from the 1 after almost making it on the first snap. Benavides kicked the extra points and all the Bearcats had to do was hold and they’d be advancing to Piedmont.

Instead, Wildcats quarterback Kevin Shaw scored on third down from the 3. They set up to go for two and after two time outs got the winning points when Carson Shaw rolled right with the handoff and found Holt in the back of the end zone behind Drake Monroe and Robert Gaines.

It was similar to a play the Wildcats had scored their second touchdown at the end of the first quarter when Carson Shaw threw a 30-yarder to Evan Horton after taking a reverse handoff.

“They (Weaver) had been very effective moving the football in the second half and we had not been as much, so I really felt like the overtimes could just go on forever and I really want to give our guys a chance to win,” Colbert Heights coach Murray Leathers said. “We felt like if we didn’t do it Coach (Hamby) was going to.

“It’s just a call you get from your gut and from your heart. Our guys wanted to go for two and that’s what we decided to do … The Lord just blessed us. He’s looked out for us all year and that call right there He had his divine hand on it, he sure did.”

In the aftermath of the play the Weaver players were scattered around the field, some lying on the ground, stunned and heartbroken.

“It was just a terrible feeling,” Gaines said. “At first we thought we came back, but when that play happened everybody just dropped; it was sad.

“I thought either 3 (Kevin Shaw) or 21 (Dylan Chandler) were going to keep the ball and run it in. They said No. 5 (Carson Shaw) might get it and throw it like at the beginning of the game and we didn’t think that and then they ran that pick route and he was wide open in the end zone.”

Three fumbles and three fourth-down touchdowns kept the Bearcats behind most of the game. They battled back from a 21-0 deficit to trail 21-14 at halftime and were behind 28-14 midway through the third quarter. They also had two long second-half touchdowns called back because of penalties.

They also played the second half with London Knight, the victim of a targeting hit late on a stopped fourth-down play in the second quarter that actually prolonged the Bearcats’ second touchdown drive.

Their touchdown in overtime was their only lead of the game.

“It felt like the same exact thing as last week, but the way we’d been playing, we didn’t deserve to win,” Dalton Hamby said. “I hate to say that, but it’s true.”

[table id=99 /]

Colbert Heights 14 7 7 0 8 — 36
Weaver 0 14 7 7 7 — 35

CH – Dylan Chandler 1 run (Jerry Howard kick), 10:55 1Q
CH – Evan Norton 30 pass from Carson Shaw (Jerry Howard kick), 0:00 1Q
CH – Dylan Chandler 3 pass from Kevin Shaw (Jerry Howard kick), 4:50 2Q
W – London Knight 1 run (Riley Benavides kick), 3:35 2Q
W – Dalton Hamby 15 run (Riley Benavides kick), 1:06 2Q
CH – Chandler Willis 30 pass from Kevin Shaw (Jerry Howard kick), 7:24 3Q
W – Dalton Hamby 5 run (Riley Benavides kick), 2:42 3Q
W – Shamar Spinks 13 run (Riley Benavides kick), 1:27 4Q
W – Dalton Hamby 1 run (Riley Benavides kick), 0:00 OT
CH – Kevin Shaw 3 run (Devin Holt pass from Carson Shaw), 0:00 OT

Weaver’s Robert Gaines tries to keep a grip on Colbert Heights quarterback Kevin Shaw (3).

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