South didn’t care how it got by North, all that mattered was that the Titans, in the end, found a way.
On opening night of their Class 6A-District 7 clash at Heights, the Titans grabbed a 25-19 double-overtime win thanks to a furious rally, capped by a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Kaale McCulloch on fourth down for the victory.
It was the Titans’ first win of the year.
"That's a big stepping stone for South High this year," South Cory Brack said. "First time down 19-0 and we come back to win it. That shows a lot of heart for our kids."
North’s Tevin Pratt dashed 60 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the second half to put North up 19-0, capping a horrendous start for the Titans in which South was penalty-prone and turned the ball over twice on fumbles. After North's Tevin Pratt dashed 60 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, any hope seemed to dimmer for South. Especially since it followed two quarters in which the Titans committed several penalties and turned the ball over twice on fumbles.
The first turnover resulted in a Redskins’ score when James Sexton returned the ball 28 yards for a touchdown after an attempted fake punt.
"Today's game was a æ.æ.æ. well, it was about who has the most heart? Who wants it more?” South junior Roque Villareal said. "As you seen, it looked like we wanted it more than they did."
Villareal recovered two fumbles for South (1-6 overall, 1-0 District ). The first one came with 10 seconds left in the third quarter as he picked up a botched snap to North quarterback Danny Jones and ran it in from 20 yards to cut the Redskins’ lead to 19-13.
With 8:21 left in the fourth quarter, the Titans marched 78 yards in almost seven minutes and tied the score on a fourth down 22 yard pass from McCulloch to DeAndre Gilkey. Devin Webber's extra point was blocked to leave the scored tied at 19-19. Neither team scored in the first overtime period.
"When (North) would score on simple mistakes, we wouldn't get down. It was just a mistake, mistakes happen," Villareal said. Fredrick Cato led the Titans with 108 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Pratt finished with 120 yards rushing for North (0-7, 0-1).
South (1-6, 1-0) 0 0 13 6 0 6 — 25
North (0-7, 0-1) 6 7 6 0 0 0 — 19
N—Pratt 14 run (kick failed)
N—Sexton 28 fumble return (Kelley kick)
N—Pratt 60 run (kick failed)
S—Cato 2 run (Webber kick)
S—Villareal 20 fumble return (kick failed)
S—Gilkey 22 pass from McCulloch (kick failed)
S—McCulloch 1 run
Rushing—South, Cato 29-108, Villareal 23-90, Webber 4-16, Rideaux 6-12, McCulloch 5-0; North, Pratt 19-120, Hayes 1-0, Jones 4-(-9).
Passing—South, McCulloch 4-9-38-0; North, Jones 10-22-91-0.
Receiving—South, Gilkey 2-28, Trice 1-7, Williams 1-3; North, Daniels 3-19, Schueller 2-34, Ray 2-24, Austin 2-4, Sexton 1-10.