10U Chocowinity Indians win title in overtime

Published 6:26 pm Saturday, November 19, 2016

GREENVILLE — A turnover-plagued defensive standoff saw the 10U Chocowinity Indians barely edge the Washington Colts to claim the division championship.

The two teams played 32 minutes of scoreless football, needing overtime to decide who would walk away with the title. The overtime scenario had the Indians and Colts each get the ball at the 10-yard line, with four downs to score a touchdown.

Chocowinity got the first offensive opportunity. The Indians were on the doorstep. It appeared they were going to try push through the middle when Tequan Moore escaped, ran alone to the right and trotted into the end zone. Despite a false start on the 2-point conversion, Moore was able to run in again — this time to his left.

With that, Chocowinity took an 8-0 lead. The Colts needed to score and get a successful conversion to keep the overtime going. A tackle for loss, false start and rush for no gain left them facing fourth-and-17.

Noah Smith came up with a fourth-down pick that solidified Chocowinity’s championship win.

“This is the toughest team we’ve had in years,” Chocowinity coach Jonathan Kassnove said. “Defensively, we’ve only given up three touchdowns. … All in all, it was a great, hard-fought win. That was a really big play there at the end.”

The championship matchup was fitting. The Indians and Colts played each other in the first weekend of the season. While Washington finished as runners up, their performance was a testament to how far they had come.

“That’s the toughest, defensively, Washington team we’ve played in years,” Kassnove said. “… They have come a long way from the first game of the season. Our kids, when they had some pressure on them, could not execute. But, in the end, we were able to put it together there in overtime.”

Fumbles went both ways in the first quarter. Chocowinity seemed to be gathering a bit of momentum about midway through the second quarter, but back-to-back stuffs at the line of scrimmage helped Washington force a turnover on downs. The Colts couldn’t move the ball, and went three-and-out in the waning moments of the half.

The Colts received the kickoff at the beginning of the second half, but fumbled the ball away on the first play from scrimmage. Jamie Corprew came up with the ball, and Chocowinity appeared to have momentum after a 18-yard gain by Moore. He brought the Indians down to the 12, but they squandered the scoring chance by putting the ball on the ground.

The two teams exchanged three-and-outs going into the fourth quarter. Washington’s defense remained stout. Moore converted on fourth down, but Zy-Mari Pierre’s big hit rattled the Chocowinity offense again.

Rashad Little picked up a few first downs late in the quarter, but the clock was working against the Colts, and they lost in overtime.