Extra Effort: Young leads Cardinals comeback, scores winning conversion


Dollarway almost got a rude awakening to the 2-4A Conference by Newport.

Tied at 36 with 4 seconds left, Newport lined up for a game-winning field goal. But Chris Grady’s kick never got past the line of scrimmage as Dollarway’s defensive line batted down the kick to force overtime.

After Newport scored on the first possession and failed on the two-point conversion of overtime, Jeremiah Young went in for his fifth touchdown of the game and scored his conversion for a 44-42 Cardinals win.

“Exciting game, on pins and needles,” Dollarway coach Cortez Lee said. “Told them to go all out, put our five big guys in there and we actually do pretty good on blocking kicks and punts. Kudos to the defense.”

Young, who moved from running back to quarterback this week with Xavier Long out due to an ankle injury, finished the game with 17 carries for 208 yards and five touchdowns. He also passed for 122 yards.

“Since Xavier was out, there was a lot put on my shoulders,” Young said. “I prepared during the week and I know I had to do more than just be a running back.”

Playing quarterback may have made Young even more dangerous, and he still got the ball in the key situations. He tied the game with the 10-yard run and followed that up with the winning two-point conversion.

“Coach asked if I could still go and I said I could,” Young said. “He wasn’t going to run that, but I am glad he put his trust in me.”

Lee said Young just played real hard.

“A true leader. We missed Xavier and hopefully we get him back next week,” he said. “But that just shows the talent level of Jeremiah Young and the players on our team. It took a team effort, but he clearly played big for us.”

Dollarway did not get off to the best of starts, either. Newport scored on the first possession of the game and the Cardinals went three-and-out. The Greyhounds added a quick score after that and went up 14-0.

But Lee did not blame any of the players for falling behind early. He put it squarely on his shoulders.

“I have to do a better job as a coach,” he said. “We just kind of came out lethargic and then we made some big plays and shows the fortitude of the players that we didn’t give up.”

Dollarway responded to the 14-0 hole with a six-play drive that was capped by sophomore running back Keyshawn Williams’ 38-yard touchdown run.

Williams saw a few extra carries with Long out and finished with 101 yards.

“That guys is going to be a good player,” Lee said. “He’s quick, he’s fast and he’s tough. I like his cuts and he reminds me of some of the past running backs I have seen.”

Dollarway got the ball back at its own 16-yard line after Newport turned it over on downs. Joshua Liddell was stopped for a loss of 7 yards. But on the next play, Young broke through with a 91-yard run, which he was almost broke down after about 4 yards.

“I thought he was down, but he came out of the pile,” Lee said. “Very big play and he kept his legs turning.”

Dollarway got the conversion to tie it at 14.

The Cardinals took the lead with 5:21 left in the first half on Young’s 1-yard plunge, but Newport responded with a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play with the ball from Clay Turner.

Dollarway had a 22-20 lead at halftime and Young scored on another 1-yard keeper for a 28-20 advantage with 4:49 left in the third.

Newport tied the game at the 11:08 mark in the fourth on Kristen Crite’s three-yard run, but Dollarway came right back as Young scored his third 1-yard run of the game for a 36-28 lead.

Newport’s tying score came on fourth down at the Dollarway 5-yard line when Gunnar Bullard hit Garrett Smith for the touchdown.

In overtime after Turner scored for the 42-36 lead, Bullard was stopped short on the conversion, allowing Dollarway to have a shot to win on the ensuing overtime possession.

“Great play by Kabion Ento on that stop,” Lee said.