|Perry Hall Falls Yard Short Against
- by Ben Boehl -Where can you find a football game between two great schools under the lights on a Friday, where the crowd is passionate and you hear the marching band play after every key play? No not,Texas. Perry Hall High School was the site for this type of scene.
The Perry Hall Gators hosted Baltimore Sun's 10th ranked and state powerhouse Hereford. The Gators wanted to prove they could play with the big boys. The Gators lost the game but they got as close as you can get, a yard short of the goal line.
Perry Hall was trailing 28-25 in the closing seconds as they had the ball on the 1-yard line. Quarterback Mike Lang ran towards the end zone to score the winning touchdown, but he was stopped at the goal line. Perry Hall rushed on to the field to set up a field goal attempt, but they ran out of time and Hereford survived with the win.
Perry Hall Coach Nick Arminio said the plan was for Lang to throw the ball away and kick the field goal, but Arminio said he supported his quarterback's decision and instinct to go for the win.
"I stand by him," Arminio said about his quarterback. "Unless you ever played the position, you don't know how hard it is under those types of circumstances."
The Gators appeared to have control of the game as they jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but it is not that easy against a team like Hereford. Their quarterback scored a 56-yard touchdown run and the momentum started to change. After that, the Gator offense was shut down for the rest of the first half and the Hereford offense put together two quality drives. Perry Hall fans must have felt Hereford was on the verge of taking control of the game, but the Gator defense made some key plays and Hereford couldn't even kick a field goal on either possession. One of the Hereford field goal attempts never got off after a bad snap and Perry Hall's Sam Hunter blocked the other attempt.
Perry Hall led 10-7 at the half, but Hereford started to score on the Perry Hall defense in the second half. Hereford had a lead of 14-10 and eventually 28-17, but both times the Gators came back. Gator tight end David Stinebaugh made a 37-yard touchdown catch to give Perry Hall the brief lead 17-14. Stinebaugh had two touchdowns in the game, including a 22-yard- run in the first half.
"He is a big kid. He"s 6'2" and very athletic, He is a very good athlete," Arminio said about his tight end.
Arminio really found out what his team was made of when they were down by 11.
"We have been in this position before," he said referring to a game against Franklin when they came back after trailing by 15. "We know we can throw the ball down field, which means we can score quickly,"Arminio said.
The Gators indeed put together a quick drive as Lang threw a touchdown pass to Devon Rainey. Perry Hall scored the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 28-25. When the Gators recovered the onside kick with a minute left, the crowd erupted in cheer. The Gators then moved the ball to the 1 yard line, but they were stopped short.
Despite the loss, Arminio said his team can hold their heads up high.
"We were down, but we moved the ball really well. I was proud of the way we executed in the two-minute drill,"he said.