Wide left. A 25-yard field goal attempt by Charlotte Christian sailed wide left allowing the North Lincoln Knights to hold onto a 19-17 victory Friday night in the second game at the Dungeon.
Neither team was able to score in the first quarter. In the second, the Knights of Charlotte Christian kicked a 28-yard field goal.
North Lincoln was quick to answer as Todd Eaton punched it in from 10 yards out to give North a 6-3 lead.
North turned the ball over with 20 seconds left in the first half on their own 2-yard line. With no timeouts, Charlotte Christian tried to run it in from the one-yard line and safety Brian Funk, one of the hardest hitters in the county, delivered a blow that stopped the running back and spurred head coach Lonnie Custer to say, â€˜itâ€™s one of the best hits Iâ€™ve ever seen, it was amazing.â€™
The hit was big from the standpoint it thwarted any points, but it was also a big momentum play.
â€œThe defense definitely bailed out our offense in the first half because we definitely sputtered. It was huge because it was the second time weâ€™ve had a lead at halftime, as opposed to going in just giving up a touchdown on the last play,â€ Custer said.
In the third, Charlotte scored on a three-yard pass. The home team quickly answered. Running back Brandon Mull displayed great athleticism hurdling a defender and taking it to the one-foot line. Casey Woodie did the rest of the work knocking it in from the one to put the Knights up 13-10.
Charlotte refused to go away scoring a 39-yard run in the fourth quarter. For the second consecutive week, Hopkins hit Borders for a 30-yard gain that set up a Hopkins quarterback sneak to put the Knights up 19-17.
His sneak were the last points of the night as Charlotte Christian missed a 25-yard field goal with 13 seconds left. Custer for the Knights knew luck played a role in the end.
â€œWe had some mental breakdowns to give them the opportunity and we were just fortunate that the FG attempt went wide left,â€ he said.
A transfer from Mooresville proved to be an effective weapon for North Lincoln. Peter Chalkus was 1-2 on extra points but more importantly his kickoffs regularly went all the way to the opponentâ€™s 10-yard line.
â€œHe was definitely a spark for our special teams and he changed field position which was an area we needed to address,â€ Custer said.
The Knights improve to 2-0 marking the most wins theyâ€™ve had in their brief history.
â€œItâ€™s a great start, no doubt about it. I know it sounds odd, but itâ€™s what we expected,â€ Custer said.
Next week one of Charlotteâ€™s most heralded coaches Jim Oddo and Charlotte Catholic come calling. Custer knows it wonâ€™t be easy.
â€œWeâ€™re facing one of the premier teams in the state at the 2A level. Theyâ€™re very well coached and they have a program that we would like to pattern ourselves after.â€by John Mark Brooks