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PEARL - Hebron quarterback Will Corben-Rogers was stopped inches of the goal line in the second overtime as Park Place, who overcame a 22-6 half time deficit, held on for a 52-50 victory over the Eagles Friday night at Smith-Wills Stadium.
The Crusaders' Damon Cole rushed for a school record 311 yards and five touchdowns to lead the way for what was to be a heart stopping second half of football.
Tied at 36 after regulation, Rogers connected with Ryan Moore who juggled the football before holding on for the touchdown from 11 yards out as the Eagles took an eight point advantage after the two point conversion.
Park Place responded with Cole's fifth touchdown on the night to tie the game and force another overtime as both teams were sitting at 44 apiece. Quarterback Gage Gordon ran the ball himself on the Crusaders next possession as the home team grabbed the lead for the first time in the ball game 52-44.
Rogers scored the Eagles last touchdown on the third play from five yards-out but failed to capitalize on the extra two points to continue the game.
Hebron head coach Tri Nason was happy with the fight he saw on the field against a traditional 11-man program.
"On offense, they have three guys that are normally starters that are just sitting on the sidelines itching to get in," he said. "And for us to go against a team I thought going into this game was better than Strider, it shows a lot with how far we have come. I guess if you have to go down, it's better to go down in two overtimes than in the first four quarters. I'm proud of my guys."
The Eagles 2-2, on the road for the third time this season jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. On the first drive that lasted just three plays, Quez Robinson capped off a 65-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. Rogers, who finished with 143-yards rushing, scored the first of his two scores on a 23-yard keeper to extend the lead.
The Crusaders (3-3) finally got on the board when Gordon and Cole teamed up for an 11-yard pas and catch to trim the lead 14-6 early in the second quarter.
Hebron made it a three possession game after finishing off an eight-play drive with a 17-yard touchdown by Taylor Coggins, 22-6 Eagles at the half. The second half however, proved to be a different story.
"They took better care of the ball better in the second half," Nason said. "I have to commend their coaches for making the adjustments at half time and it took us until late in the fourth quarter to rearrange our offense and blocking to fix what they did at half time."
The Eagles caught a break on the opening drive of the third quarter as Park Place fumbled on their first possession, however despite starting at the opponents 43-yard line, Hebron failed to convert on fourth down and turned the ball over with no points.
Three plays later and the Crusaders were on the board again after Cole's 53-yard touchdown run. The two teams would trade touchdowns as Robinson added his second score on the night with a 28-yard sprint down the sidelines before Cole again had a another long touchdown run, this one for 50-yards to cut the lead to a touchdown 28-22.
The teams were tied at 28 in the fourth quarter before Coggins' 78-yard kick-off return quieted the crowd and put the Eagles in the drivers seat once again. However, two straight fumbles by Hebron gave Park Place ample opportunity to tie the game with a 25-yard touchdown run by Cole.
Hebron again had another good night offensively, racking up 309 yards including 230 on the ground. Robinson netted 53 while Coggins, who left in the game with a shoulder injury, finished with 172 all-purpose yards, 105 on kick-off returns. Rogers had just 79 passing yards on four completions.
On defense the Eagles had four turnovers including a pair of interceptions by Rogers, one of three players, Coggins and Moore, who finished with eight tackles. Harley Thompson finished with a team-high 12 on the night.View more articles in: