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Sussex Central scores late touchdown to spoil Homecoming festivities at Park View, 34-29

South Boston News
Dontavious Wilson makes a leaping grab for a TD in the late going at PVHS Friday night. The Dragons fell to Sussex Central, 34-29. (Steve Hinzman photo) / October 16, 2019
Sussex Central 5-1) was less than three minutes away from suffering their first Tri-Rivers District loss when the Homecoming Night visitors at PVHS rallied for a late TD and claimed a 34-29 comeback win over Park View.

Sussex’s final drive with 2:43 left to play stunned the Park View faithful that came out to celebrate Homecoming Night at Dragon Stadium. After the Dragons took a 29-26 lead late in the fourth quarter on an Adam Crabel field goal, Sussex faced a do-or-die moment with the seconds rapidly winding down on the game clock.

It didn’t take long, however, for Tiger QB T. Rose to find sophomore running back J. Prosise for a 53-yard pass completion. The long pass set up the go-ahead TD for the Tigers at the PV 7-year line.

Despite the late letdown, the Dragons saw a significant improvement in execution compared to the prior week’s 44-8 loss to Greensville County. Park View committed fewer errors and achieved a net plus-1 turnover ratio as they recovered a Tiger fumble while holding on to the ball for all four quarters.

In addition, junior place kicker Crabel stepped up for Park View, completing three field goals to account for 9 points in the loss. Crabel also went 2 for 3 for extra points with his only miss coming after PV was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for celebrating excessively following a TD.

The Tigers won the toss and elected to receive, and they put together a sustained first drive to score 4:58 onto the contest. Facing second and goal at the PV 9, the handoff went to Sussex’s J. Prosise for a 9-yard scoring run. The two-point try was successful and the Tigers took an 8-0 lead.

Park View had a quick answer. Just two minutes later, Dragon QB Josh Boyd called his own number for a 25-yard sprint into the Sussex end zone for a TD. Crabel’s PAT sail through cleanly and the Dragons had cut the Sussex lead to 8-7.

The Tigers were forced to turn the ball over on downs near midfield on the ensuing drive, giving Park View and opportunity to take the lead. That’s exactly what they did as, one minute into the second quarter, Boyd hooked up with his receiver Dontavious Wilson for a 13-yard touchdown strike. Crabel’s PAT was good and the Dragons found themselves leading 14-8.

The Tigers got even after another long drive. This time it was running back I. Clark who got the call as he scored from the Dragon 4-yard line. After the Dragon defense stuffed the two-point attempt, the teams were tied at 14-all.

After another terrific pass from Boyd to Wilson netted 35 yards, the Dragons reached the Sussex 20. It looked as though the Dragons were on the verge of another TD. Unfortunately, the drive stalled at the Sussex 16-yard line and Crabel would kick the first of three field goals, a 32 yarder, giving PV a 17-14 lead.

On the ensuing possession the Tigers coughed up the pigskin on the first play from scrimmage and Park View jumped on the loose ball, giving the Dragons excellent field position at the Sussex 28-yard line.

Once again, however, the Dragon offense couldn’t punch it in and Crabel was called on to attempt a 36-yard field goal. The kick sailed well above the crossbar between the uprights and one must wonder if there’s a 40-plus yarder in Crabel’s foot — perhaps we’ll get a chance to see this season.

The teams went into halftime with Park View leading 20-14.

The Dragons took possession first in the second half and their opening drive ended with a punt after a pair of penalty flags on back-to-back plays put them deep in a hole.

Sussex took over on the Park View 30 and after a four-yard pick-up, running back I. Clark broke free for a 58 yard scamper down to the PV 8-yard line.

Clark got the call again two plays later for a 10-yard TD run with 7:02 left in the third. The two-point try failed and the teams were tied, 20-all.

The ensuing drive for Park View would end in disaster when Boyd wasn’t able to keep the handle on a tricky snap and fumbled the ball.

The ball was scooped up and carried into the end zone by a Tiger defender, giving Sussex a 26-20 lead with 6:11 left in the third.

The next drive for Park View was beset by three Dragon penalties on three consecutive plays, but the offense overcame the mistakes.

Facing third and 17 from the Sussex 30-yard line, Boyd threw a pass to Dontavious Wilson, who made an absolutely spectacular catch, going up high between a pair of Tiger defenders for the touchdown.

After an unsportsmanlike penalty put the ball back to the 18-yard line for the PAT, Crabel’s attempt sailed wide and Park View had to settle of a 26-all tie.

After the Tigers next drive stalled out at the Park View 25-yard line, the Dragons put together another sustained drive eating up over four minutes of valuable clock in the fourth quarter.

After the drive was stopped at the Sussex 10-yard line, Crabel kicked his third field goal to give Park View a slim 29-26 lead with 2:44 left on the clock.

In an apparent effort to prevent a big runback on the kickoff, Park View elected to execute a squib kick, giving Sussex good field position at the Tiger 40.

Sussex immediately went to the air and QB Rose once again found Prosise for a 53-yard strike, setting the Tigers up at the PV 7-yard line. It took two tries but the Dragon defense couldn’t keep Tiger running back Clark out of the end zone and Sussex took the 34-29 lead with 1:43 left in the game.

Park View couldn’t get going offensively and time ran out, giving the Tigers the win.

With the loss the Dragons fell to 3-3 (1-2 district). Park View will host the Brunswick Bulldogs Friday night.

With the win Sussex Central improves to 5-1 (2-0 district) and will host Franklin on Friday.

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