Red Level notches win in OT

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

OAKMAN - Red Level Tiger fans left here happy Friday night after watching a game that gave many of them fits. In the end, however, the Red Level fans were elated because the Tigers topped the undefeated and No. 3-ranked Oakman Wildcats 32-26 in overtime.

The Tiger faithful were not happy most of the game. A few penalties and turnovers had them seeing red until the Tigers did what good teams do - found a way to win.

The Tigers went into overtime just 22 seconds after Oakman knotted the score at 26-26 on a 21-yard field goal by Chad Kilgore.

Red Level went to its bread and butter on the night. The Tigers' offense, under the direction of Coordinator Bobby Dye, gave the ball to Larry Hudson and cleared the way. It took just two plays for Hudson to prance into the end zone for a 32-26 lead. The Tigers went for two and came up short, but held a lead in overtime.

The Oakman Wildcats began its first possession of overtime with a running play after the passing attack had served them well throughout the game. The play failed to net a gain and the Wildcats went back to the air.

Two incomplete passes, however, seemed to take the air out of the Wildcats. Then, on fourth-and-goal from the 10 and needing a touchdown the Wildcats went back to the ground. Kilgore attempted to run for the end zone on a quarterback sweep to the left.

Hudson came up big again.

The Red Level senior, along with help from senior Randy Howard, nailed Kilgore along the sideline forcing him out of bounds at the two-yard line to end the game by securing a win.

Red Level Head Coach Tim Grimes can't wait to get to work for round three of the state playoffs, even if it is unfamiliar territory.

"What a game," Grimes said after winning the thriller. "We played as hard as we possibly could. We gave it our whole heart.

"Now, we'll get ready for the third round which is somewhere we've never been," he added.

The Tigers will face Houston Academy after its win against Southern Choctaw last night. The game will be played at Crystal Springs Park Stadium in Red Level with kickoff set for 7 p.m. Admission is $6.

The game in Oakman began with the Wildcats going on top 7-0 when Kilgore found the end zone from one yard out on a quarterback sneak.

Red Level answered with Hudson scoring on a 22-yard run with 5:46 left in the second quarter. The PAT attempt was blocked and Oakman held a 7-6 lead.

The Wildcats struck for another touchdown with 2:01 left in the half when Kilgore found Cody Windham on a 13-yard touchdown pass.

The score gave the Wildcats a 13-6 lead. Red Level went on top just before halftime.

Hudson scored on a 28-yard run. He added a two-point conversion, stretching out his arms just enough for the ball to break the plane of the goal line.

At the break, Red Level held a 14-13 lead.

Oakman went back on top in the third quarter when Kilgore booted a field goal. The Wildcats were out in front 16-14 with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.

Both offenses got in gear in the fourth period.

Red Level struck first in the fourth when quarterback Russell Rigdon hit Chaz Maloy for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The score gave Red Level a 20-14 lead.

Oakman answered with Kilgore finding Taylor Wright for a 23-20 lead after a 14-yard touchdown pass with 3:54 left in regulation.

Hudson answered in a hurry for Red Level on a 47-yard touchdown run. The score gave the Tigers a 26-20 lead with 2:48 remaining.

Oakman managed to move the ball down field on the ensuing possession, but the Red Level defense stood its ground in the "red zone" forcing a game-tying field goal.

Red level then took a lead in overtime and once again watched the defense shine in the red zone.