Trailing in overtime and faced with the choice to go for a two-point conversion and the win, Evans High School head coach Marty Jackson never wavered.
Sophomore quarterback Matlin Marshall made the gamble pay off, plowing past three Greenbrier defenders and just reaching the end zone. The successful conversion gave Evans a 22-21 win over its region foe Oct. 5.
“At that stage we were going for two,” said Jackson, referencing three previously botched snaps on two field-goal attempts and an extra point.
Greenbrier (1-4, 0-2 Region 2-AAAAA) had the first possession in overtime and Jamal Richards scored from 15 yards out on the team’s first play.
Marshall scored from 13 yards out the Knights’ third play in overtime, setting up the game-winner.
With Evans’ starting quarterback Chandler Shoemaker on the sideline recovering from a concussion, Marshall stepped up and scored two touchdowns, finishing with 68 yards on 18 carries.
“Everyone was telling me I had to go out and make big plays, and I think I did that tonight,” Marshall said.
Marshall also hit Jacob Rizner with a pass for a two-point conversion that tied the game at 14 with 7:10 to play.
The Wolfpack hurt itself with four interceptions, including two on possessions after Evans tied the game. David Mims, Damian Foreman, Jabari Nelson and Cameron Rice made interceptions for the Knights.
The Evans defense limited the Wolfpack offense to 182 yards of offense, 153 of it on the ground, while the Knights amassed 278 yards.
Greenbrier blocked a punt at the Evans 20, leading to running back Jeremy Harden’s 20-yard score with 5:01 left in the first quarter.
“I’m the special teams coach and our kids were able to overcome special teams snafus,” Jackson said.
Evans (3-2, 1-1) got the ball at their four-yard line with 11:01 to play in the first half and kept it for six and a half minutes. The team used 12 plays to cover the 96 yards with Nelson going in from two yards out to cut the gap to 7-6.
Greenbrier quarterback Luke Otstot drove the team down the field early in the fourth quarter and his four-yard run gave Greenbrier a 14-7 lead.