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LINDEN – North Montgomery celebrated Senior Night on Friday and what a night it was. Scoring 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, the Chargers defeated Sagamore Conference foe Danville 18-15. And, to top it all off, it was North’s seniors making plays that turned the tide.
After Danville scored at the 10:21 mark of the final quarter, they surprised the Chargers by lining up to kick the extra point but ended up throwing the ball for a successful two-point conversion. The surprise play put the Warriors up 15-6 and it looked like North Montgomery’s season theme of playing the good teams close would continue.
Charger Coach Josh Thompson said his team refused to lose another close game.
“I am most proud that this team responded time and time again in this game,” Thompson said. “We have been so close and finally we got over the hump."
However, the resilient Chargers responded in a big way.
North Montgomery went 62 yards in 14 plays capped off by senior quarterback Jaron Bradford’s 12-yard touchdown scamper around the right end. After the two-point conversion failed, the Chargers only trailed 15 to 12 with 7:48 left on the game clock.
Next to respond was the Charger defense. Needing the ball back, the Chargers forced a 3-and-out. After the Warriors’ punt, the Chargers were in business again with 5:76 to play. This time North had the ball on their own 16-yard line again.
North Montgomery went on a 13-play drive that saw them covert four first downs on third down. But, it was a fourth down conversion that kept the drive alive.
North Montgomery was facing a fourth down and needing six yards. As Bradford dropped back to pass the Warrior defenders forced the quarterback to his right. He launched a pass toward the sideline where senior Kade Kobel out jumped the Danville defender while barely staying in bounds. The pass covered 27 yards and kept the drive alive.
Three plays later the Chargers were on the 12-yard line again facing a third down and seven. This time it was Bradford again keeping the ball on an option. The senior ran for another 12 yard score with just 1:14 to play in the game. The Chargers now led 18-12.
Bradford, who had thrown a touchdown pass in the first quarter to senior Kai Warren, had a hand in all three Charger touchdowns. He threw for 107 yards and ran for another 47 yards. He said winning a close game against a good opponent was a long-time coming but very satisfied.
“It feels good to be on the other end of winning a close game,” Bradford said. “Our defense kept us in the game until our offense finally got it going in the fourth quarter. It feels great.”
Danville did not roll over. Taking the kickoff to the Charger 40-yard line in just three plays they were knocking on the door from the Charger 16 yard line. With :24.5 left on the clock. The big play was a 32 yard reception by Matthew Brabec from quarterback Kale Payne.
Again, Charger seniors made plays with Danville threatening to regain the lead. First it was Warren who broke up a pass and next it was Kobel who knocked down a pass in the end zone. Danville’s last breath was snuffed out when of fourth down, senior Ben Lovold pressured Payne. With Lovold bearing down on Payne, the quarterback was forced to throw the ball off balance. This time it was Charger senior Keifer Carmean who intercepted the pass sealing the win for the home team.
Charger coach Josh Thompson had nothing but praise for his 12 seniors after the exciting finish.
“Before the game we talked to our kids that we were playing for our seniors tonight,” Thompson said. “I am thrilled to death for these kids right now. We have played some close games and finally got the win. We have 12 seniors and it was great to see them make plays.”
North Montgomery 18, Danville 15
North Montgomery 6 0 0 12 – 18
Danville 7 0 0 8 – 15
Statistics N D
Rushing 49-163 32-194
Passing 114 117
Total yards 277 311
First Downs 16 15
Turnovers 1 2
Penalties 6-40 5-45
Score by quarters
D – Chandler Schubert 26-yd run, Herman kick, 6:56
N– Kai Warren 18-yd pass from Jaron Bradford, pass failed, 2:39
D – Schubert 15-yd run, Tyler Dodson pass from Kale Payne, 10:21
N – Bradford 12-yd run, pass failed, 7:48
N – Bradford 12-yd run, run failed, 1:07
Rushing: N – Zach Walden 6-18, Bradford 20-47, Kade Kobel 5-4, Zak Searle 15-84, Jacob Braun 2-10, Kai Warren 1-(-2).
D – Chandler Schubert 22-189, Kale Payne 9-6, Luke Wooten 1-(-1), Tyler Dostin 1-0.
Passing: N – Bradford 10-21 114 2 D Kale Payne 8-22 117 0
Recieving: N Kade Kobel 4-50, Kai Warren 2-31, Keifer Carmean 2-24, Zak Searle 2-9
D Luke Wooten 6-78, Matthew Brabec 2-36