Published: Sep 10, 2012 04:36 PM
Modified: Sep 10, 2012 04:37 PM
By Tom Shanahan
CARY – Chris Martin is in his first year as Athens Drive’s head coach after five seasons as the defensive coordinator, so he reached into retired coach Jeff Smouse's offensive playbook for an option pass against Green Hope. The play worked to help the Jaguars take a 24-20 Tri-Nine victory.
The Jaguars were trailing 7-3 and facing a third-and-7 from their 41-yard line with less than two minutes until halftime when Martin sent his backup quarterback, Brad Bowling, onto the field with his starter, Jason West.
West pitched to Bowling, Bowling rolled right and hit Henry Smith behind the Green Hope secondary for a 59-yard touchdown pass to take a 10-7 lead and the with 1:22 remaining until halftime.
“Brad and Jason are both good quarterbacks and we don’t want to have one good quarterback on the field and the other sitting on the bench when he’s a good athlete,” Martin said. “That’s a coach Smouse play. I wanted to keep it a secret, but it came at a crucial time. The momentum of the game had shifted at the end of the half. It was a good way to go into halftime. Now teams have to prepare for it. We threw another wrinkle in there.”
Athens Drive improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in Tri-Nine Conference play with a win in back-to-back Tri-Nine games. Green Hope, a vastly improved team from last year’s 2-9 record, fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
Bowling’s touchdown toss was his only pass of the night, but he also caught four balls for 32 yards.
West finished 12 of 18 for 129 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Athens Drive running back Dominique Lynch carried 25 times for 116 yards and one touchdown on 4-yard run.
Green Hope took a 14-10 lead in the third quarter when Chris Tutwiler hit Mitch Chalker with a 1-yard TD pass before Athens Drive rallied with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Lynch scored on a 4-yard run with 10:43 left in the game for a 17-14 lead and Steve Parrish caught an 11-yard pass from West for a 24-14 advantage with 5:50 remaining.
Tutwiler finished 15 of 22 for 208 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.
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