August 23, 2009 12:42:00 AM
Danny P Smith -
Columbus High School junior defensive lineman Ian Williams was thankful to be in the right place at the right time.
Even though it took a while to determine who blocked the extra point that enabled Columbus beat Aberdeen 27-26 in double overtime Friday night, Williams was glad he could be a difference maker.
Williams fought through the line and got his hand up to deflect the attempt of kicker Rashad Pargo to end the game after a 5-yard touchdown pass from Dezmond Jones to Erik Buchanan.
"I was just trying to get through the line," Williams said. "I looked over to the sideline and saw my coach holding his hands up. When the ball was snapped, I just jumped and blocked it."
It was Williams'' second extra-point block of the game. He also knocked Pargo''s try following a 37-yard interception return for a score by Channing Ward in the fourth quarter.
Despite blocking two extra points, Williams wasn''t about to take all of the credit.
"You feel so excited when you block those points, but it was a team effort," Williams said. "That''s what won the game and not the two blocked extra points."
Columbus High coach Bubba Davis was glad to see Williams come up with the big plays.
"If he doesn''t make that (play), who knows what happens in another overtime," Davis said. "We have a young team, but they are starting to make a play here and there. We''re still in that process because of our youth. They''ve just got to keep working.
"We''re sitting here 1-0 and that''s great for a bunch of young kids to be able to win a ballgame."
Davis said the two blocked extra points made up for the Falcons'' problems in the kicking game. Columbus fumbled a punt and kicker Avery Ford had one of his extra points blocked.
Columbus built a 20-7 halftime lead against Aberdeen thanks to touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards by Randy Brown (21 carries, 88 yards).
The Bulldogs tied the game at the end of regulation with junior quarterback Dezmond Jones, who took the controls after senior Aaron Andrews went down in the second series of the game with a high ankle sprain.
Aberdeen High coach Chris Duncan was proud his squad fought through adversity and tied the game.
"Our kids had no quit in them. We fought back and that''s what a championship team does," Duncan said. "We were playing a Class 6A school and we laid it out there and stuffed them for two quarters. I''m proud of them."
The Falcons rushed for 166 yards in the first half but gained only 26 in the second.
Duncan moved up a safety to play nine players in the box, but he said his players'' effort was the key to shutting down Columbus'' running game in the second half.
The Falcons started 11 sophomores and one freshman, so Davis understands they are still learning how to finish games.
"I thought we were in pretty good condition, but we had kids who were cramping," Davis said. "I don''t think we ever played this hard last year. It''s a new experience for them to get out here and play every play as hard as you can."
Duncan believes he''ll get Andrews back to run the offense soon, but he liked what he saw from Jones (9 of 17, 98 yards), who missed some open receivers because of a bad wrist.
Either quarterback will have running back Jamerson Love (25 carries, 156 yards) to use as a weapon.
"He''s a great running back, and he did it with them knowing he''s going to get the ball," Duncan said. "I was proud of our offensive line being outweighed 75 pounds per guy and we moved the ball on them. I think we''ll grow out of it. Anytime you go against a 6A school and take them into two overtimes, you should have a good year."
Love was encouraged by the way the Bulldogs held up. He said the team will take positives from the game into next week''s home game against Ray Brooks.
"(Columbus was) bigger than us up front, but we matched their physicalness," Love said.
Columbus will look to take the momentum into their next matchup at Noxubee County.