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GOSHEN--- Thanks to North Oldham sophomore running back Quinton Shea, Mustangs coach Billy Martin will never have to worry about what he might’ve done.
On third down in overtime, Shea took a left pitch from senior quarterback Cameron Renaud, cut back inside and jaunted into the end zone to give North Oldham a 41-38 thriller over South Oldham.
Martin was somewhat limited. After senior running back Zach Evans left the game midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury, Martin didn’t have his outside threat. Junior Jacob Raymond got the bulk of the carries after Evans’ injury, but Shea had a few as well, including on second down of the Mustangs’ overtime series.
“It was a big play because I didn’t know what I was gonna do on the next play,” Martin said. “He took that decision out of my hands, which I’m very thankful for. That’s just a big-time run by a little sophomore who got thrown in there.”
North Oldham won the coin toss in overtime, but elected to play defense. In a game dominated by both offenses, the Mustangs defense held when it needed to. After two small gains rushing, an incomplete pass and a false start penalty, South Oldham settled for a 27-yard field goal by junior Jack Sherry.
Junior running back Josh Smith gained four yards on a first down run, before Shea ran for two more. Then came his instinctive cutback inside.
“I saw that cutback lane and I took the straight shot to the end zone,” Shea said. “I ran my hardest, kept my legs pumping and kept going.”
Both offenses were clicking. Sherry didn’t throw an incomplete pass in the first half, finishing 9-13 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Michael Gray also had a pair of rushing touchdowns.
North Oldham had what’s become a big-time weapon: the shovel pass.
Trailing 21-14 with nine seconds left at the South Oldham 45 yard line after an onside kick, Evans took a shovel pass from Renaud 45 yards for a touchdown as time expired. Evans had was the recipient of another shovel pass, for 26 yards in the third quarter.
Renaud also had the benefit of the self-proclaimed ‘Fist,’ the North Oldham offensive line. He ran in two touchdowns from two yards or less, running behind his offensive line.
“That’s not me scoring those touchdowns, it’s all ‘The Fist’ scoring those touchdowns,” he said. “All I have to do is follow them and they lead the way.”
The Dragons had a few chances. Three of Sherry’s incompletions were dropped passes. The third came when senior Jacob Lamb couldn’t handle a Sherry pass on third down in overtime.
“There comes a time when you’ve gotta make a play,” South Oldham coach Jaime Reed said. “We scored points, but somebody’s gotta make a play. We gave them an opportunity, we just came up on the short end tonight.”
North Oldham made the most of its opportunity and after defeating Oldham County in week two, is the undisputed county champion.
Martin also made the most of his opportunity to ignite a fire under his team.
“I’m usually Cool-Hand Luke,” he said. “I lost my cool and I think the kids kinda fed off that a little bit.”
Martin won’t have to wonder what could’ve happened. Thanks to some timely events.
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