Sports

October 12, 2013

Catamounts win by a foot

Rodriguez field goal good as time expires

TUNNEL HILL — Only three seconds remained in Friday night’s high school football game between intracounty rivals Dalton and Northwest Whitfield.

As Catamounts kicker Kiko Rodriguez lined up for a 25-yard field goal, the majority of the over-capacity crowd inside Bruin Stadium desperately wanted him to miss.

They, along with the Bruins players, wanted overtime. They wanted the score to stay 28-28. They wanted the first win in the series since 2004.

“No pressure,” Rodriguez said.

With one confident motion, his kick ended the game 31-28 in Dalton’s favor, ended Northwest’s quest for an undefeated season, diminished the Bruins’ hopes of a Region 7-4A title and continued the Cats’ domination of their Sub-region 7B-4A rivals with a seventh straight victory in the series, which now leans 28-5 in Dalton’s favor.

The estimated 6,500 fans expressed opposite reactions. The Dalton side erupted. The Northwest fans went silent. To get there, the Cats (4-2, 2-0) drove 73 yards in 2:06, passing only once and running six times with a healthy dose of quarterback Payton Veraldi and running back Kelvis Rhodes — the latter rushing 23 times for 199 yards in the game.

Running the football, even when conventional wisdom thinks to pass, is just the way Dalton does things.

“That’s our two-minute offense. Can’t you tell?” Dalton coach Matt Land joked, at first. “Honestly, we wanted to try and set up a couple pass plays with the run. We ripped off two big run plays to get us comfortable.”

The Cats now sit alone in first place in the sub-region standings with Southeast Whitfield’s 35-20 loss to Ridgeland. Northwest (5-1, 1-1) is now looking at an extremely important game next week against the Panthers, who also are 1-1 in league standings.

The Bruins tied the game with 2:06 to play when quarterback Caleb Shiflett found wide receiver Dylan Joyce on an 18-yard touchdown.

It was one of two touchdown passes for Shiflett, who finished 11 of 19 for 156 yards.

Earlier in the quarter, Rhodes scored from 12 yards away with 8:32 to play to give Dalton its first lead of the game at 28-21. The possession continued after a roughing the kicker penalty on a 40-yard missed field goal from Rodriguez. Rhodes’ other score came on a 4-yard run to tie the game 21-21 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

Northwest owned almost all of the first quarter. On the Bruins’ first offensive play, wide receiver Tevin McDaniel caught a screen pass from Shiflett for a 68-yard score with 7:47 on the clock. McDaniel broke four tackles and cut back across the field at around midfield.

Northwest’s next possession went 71 yards in 13 plays, and Jacob Webb’s 2-yard score with 1:04 on the clock was his 11th run on the drive and gave the Bruins a 14-0 lead.

Veraldi took the second play of Dalton’s next drive 55 yards on the last play of the opening quarter and he scored on a 2-yard sneak with 10:17 left in the second quarter. Eder Mora’s 4-yard run tied the game with 2:36 left before halftime, a drive set up by a 46-yard pass to wideout Peter Sigmon. Veraldi finished with 112 yards rushing on 16 carries and 73 yards on 5-of-7 passing.

“We were too pumped and bought into making this a little bigger than what it was, which was just another game,” Land said of the first quarter.

Northwest’s best chance to score in the second quarter was after a fourth-and-1 fake punt run by Clay Phillips for 17 yards. On the next play, with the ball at Dalton’s 25, cornerback Jordon McKinney intercepted a Shiflett pass in the end zone with 5:39 on the clock.

“Games between good teams always boil down to a couple plays,” Northwest coach Josh Robinson said. “Was that a big play? Yes. Also, penalties for them getting first downs and messing up on coverages (also was big).”

The Bruins opened the second half with an 11-play, 69-yard drive finished by Webb’s 1-yard scoring run with 8:13 on the clock. Webb finished with 31 carries for 151 yards.

“I’m proud of our team,” Webb said. “This is the first time playing a close game into the fourth quarter. ... We tried to get the job done and came up a little short, but it’s all right, though.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Todd roasted 1 mlh.jpg One last 'Goodbye' for coach Todd

    Charles Todd talks to parents and coaches before his going-away party Tuesday in the Dalton High School commons area.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing Lures3cw.jpg Turner lured into love of learning fishing business

    Fishing and tall tales go hand in hand, and after nearly three decades in a business supplying local anglers, Phil Turner has heard just about all of them.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. Amateur dreams over for local golfers

    Dalton golfers Chase Miller and Will Morrow traveled to Cincinnati on Tuesday in an attempt to earn a spot in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, but neither earned one of the three qualifying spots at the 6,588-yard, par-70 course at Camargo Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Boggs now with Giants

    Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to baseballamerica.com. Contract information, along with which minor league affiliate Boggs, a pitcher, will start with, was not available in the report, and Boggs was not listed on any of the online rosters for any of the Giants’ minor league affiliates.

    July 21, 2014

  • SE wrestling practice 5 mlh.jpg Herndon leaving Raiders to coach at Calhoun; new coach named at SE Whitfield

    Michael Herndon’s successful three-year run as Southeast Whitfield High School’s wrestling coach has come to an end.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hipp makes cut at qualifying tourney

    Chatsworth golfer Colby Hipp earned the chance to play on today in a U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCAC-B&W.jpg CCAC has strong showing at 14-and-under state meet

    The Carpet Capital Aquatics Club had 16 club records broken in a 12th-place finish at the 2014 Georgia 14-and-under Long Course State Championship meet Saturday at Georgia Tech’s swimming facility.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motocross kid 6 mlh.jpg Dirt, gas and guts

    Lucas Amos is like a lot of other 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade at Tunnel Hill Elementary this school year.
    He likes to play the video game sensation Minecraft, building different structures and fending off zombies when the sun goes down. He likes to spend time with his grandparents, traveling around the Southeast with them most every weekend.
    And he likes to play in the dirt.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo