|High School Football:
Mustangs Win Marathon Triple OT Slugfest 42-40 Over Camden
Friday, October 19, 2001
By Bob Wankel
SJSports Student Correspondent
Friday night football may never be looked at the same way again around here at Triton. Something very special happened when the Mustangs hosted the Panthers of Camden High in a triple over time marathon contest in late October. This game packed the punch that any football fan would pay to see. Fans were in store for a high scoring, hard fought game filled with big time plays when they were needed most.
Camden struck first with a touchdown only moments into the first quarter. However the Stangs responded almost immediately to take an 8-6 lead midway through the first. Behind the combination of power and finesse from running backs Zack Romeo and Zack Finley and the wall which they ran behind, the Mustangs dominated the ground game offensively. Junior quarterback Joe Sotille found a streaking Steve Hurlburt in the end zone for an incredible touchdown through the air reminding the Panthers that this Triton team isn't only dangerous on the ground. After a wild and entertaining first half the Mustangs clung to a six-point 22-16 lead at the break.
The fun was just beginning. The third quarter was quiet and in fact the beginning of the fourth was too. Apparently, what we know now was that these two teams were just warming up. With the Mustangs at midfield and about five minutes left to play in the game, they needed two more first downs to all but seal the deal and their fourth victory of the season. However the Mustangs couldn't put it away and Camden tied the score in the final moment at 28-28. The Stangs defense then responded with an incredible goal line stand to stop the two-point conversion, keeping the game tied and send it to overtime.
Camden and Triton both scored in their possession during the extra frame, but both failed on the extra point keeping the game knotted at 34-34 at the end of the first OT. In the second overtime, both defenses came up with huge stands and the offenses on both sides could not get into the end zone. Therefore, two overtimes weren't quite enough on this night.
Camden had possession in third overtime first. Triton had the Panthers' backs against the wall on a 4th down and 9, but somehow Camden quarterback Tareq Council found a receiver in the back of the end zone to silence what was a roaring Mustang crowd. The touchdown strike gave Camden a 40-34 lead. However, on this night you just couldn't keep Triton down. With their backs against the wall and their leading rusher who is having a great season, Romeo, done for the night because of injury, the Stangs just would not quit.
Triton's offense moved the ball down to the one-yard line. It was on third and goal from the one when running back Josh Stallard went right up the gut of the offensive line and somehow found enough room to get in and tie the game up at 40-40. Ironically, after frustrating failed attempts at two point conversions all night, the game would be decided by one. In a gutsy call by Bill Fisher's offense, they gave the ball to sophomore running back Zack Finley who scampered into the end zone to win the marathon game 42-40 in triple over time. What made the victory even more special was that the Mustangs continually overcame injuries to pick up their fourth win and keep their playoff hopes alive.
This game was something that I have never seen in high school football, or on any level for that matter. It is something I may never see again. All I know is that on this Friday night everyone one there witnessed something very special not only for the team, but for all of Triton.