By Mark Jurgena
“What a catch by senior Jerry Richardson for the win,” exclaimed Dr. Kris McClusky on the Kahok Sports Network.
In a remarkable storybook ending, Collinsville High School backup quarterback Kolby Anderson completed a two-point conversion pass to Richardson to beat Champaign (Centennial) in overtime at Kahok Stadium on Friday.
What a remarkable catch it was.
Anderson, who had moved to quarterback only three plays earlier due to an injury to starting QB Ethan Bagwell, looked off his first read to the left and found two Kahoks open on the right side of the end zone.
With a Centennial defender in between.
The Kahok QB fired a pass that looked intended for Kylin Jordan in the back of the end zone, when Richardson leaped high into the air, grabbed the ball, and was flipped by the Charger defensive back.
After a 360-degree twist, the Kahok running back completed his spinning descent on his back with the ball for two points and a Collinsville win.
The victory raised the Kahok mark to 7-1 on the season while dropping Centennial to 7-1 on the year.
“Everybody was worried about Ethan Bagwell and we were all scared and happy that he had movement before he left,” said Collinsville coach Colton Rhodes. “But everybody after that was all in on doing it for Bagwell. Our guys came up clutch and made things happen.
“We actually won that game for Bagwell on one of the craziest plays I’ve ever seen in a game that I’ll never forget.”
Bagwell was involved in a collision that put him on the Kahok Stadium turf for quite some time. As a precaution, he was taken to the hospital. According to a tweet by CHS @KahokGridiron, during the overnight hours, he was released with all x-rays coming back negative.
Bagwell had taken the Kahoks down to the one-yard line on Collinsville’s first play of overtime when the collision occurred. CHS was down 14-7 as the Chargers had scored in one play during their overtime possession.
After the delay, Anderson, who had spent most of the last three years as the Kahok QB, tried to bull his way in on 2nd down from a shotgun formation but was short. Rhodes then called his number again on the exact same play from the gun and this time Anderson got in for the TD.
“When we start with 2nd and 1 on the one… Kolby hadn’t taken a snap under center in a while, so I just lined him up in the gun and said just QB up the middle, just take it, and run it straight ahead,” Rhodes said. “He got stopped the first time and I just said, ‘I don’t care, we are doing it again.’ He hadn’t worked on handoffs in a while…just catch the snap and run.”
The game was full of defensive stands and field position as neither team was overwhelming on offense.
CHS gained a total of 199 yards on 55 plays while Centennial had 203 yards on 51 plays. The teams combined to commit six turnovers in the game with four coming from the purple and white.
Those turnovers made it difficult on the Kahoks as they trailed at the half 7-0. CHS didn’t score until approximately ten minutes left in the 4th quarter on a pass from Bagwell to Darren Pennell. After the Andrew Chi kick, it was a 7-7 game where it would remain until overtime.
Despite the struggles in this game, Rhodes was pleased with the resiliency of his team.
“It’s a big win for our guys,” said Rhodes. “We faced a lot of adversity in this game starting from the first drive of the game where we threw an interception on 3rd down. Our defense stood tough the whole game and had our offense’s back.
“It was a great team win. Everybody fought for each other and played for each other and I am happy we came out with a win at the end of it.”
Collinsville was led in rushing by Richardson who carried the ball 13 times for 55 yards while Bagwell had 13 rushes for 46 yards.
Meanwhile, Bagwell was 12-for-21 for 96 yards with a TD and an interception.
Pennell caught five balls for 57 yards and a TD.
Defensively, Mondray Crume had three solo tackles and six assists and a huge sack to force Centennial into a 4th and 12 situation in the 4th quarter to give CHS the ball back with the score tied.
Isaiah Norton had three solo tackles and four assists with a tackle for loss while Rollin Armes had one solo and six assists.
Anderson had one solo and six assists as did Christian Smith.
Devin Habermehl had five assists and recovered a fumble that was forced away from the Centennial ball carrier by Pennell.
Collinsville plays at Centralia tomorrow night in a 7 p.m. contest. The Orphans are 5-3 on the season with 39 playoff points. If you factor in the Kahoks seven wins they will have at least 46 playoff points. That is a total that will get them into the playoffs even with a 5-4 record.