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Bay Springs takes OT victory over Newton

By By Robbie Robertson/The Newton Record
September 13, 2003
NEWTON Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good and Bay Springs coach Cecil Hicks knows his team was lucky Friday night.
Bay Springs converted a controversial fourth-and-34 play in overtime to take a hard-fought 18-12 win over Newton at E.L. Morgan Field.
The play that gave the Bulldogs the win had plenty of excitement. The Tiger
defense had pushed the Bulldogs back to the 34 for the fourth down play and
had quarterback Chris Fleming wrapped up when he broke free and slung a pass down field and hit Phillip Sims in the corner of the end zone. The referees converged and after a discussion, Bay Springs was awarded a touchdown.
But our kids never gave up and that's what I'm proud of."
For the 0-3 Tigers and first-year coach Pepper Posey, it was a heart-breaking loss.
The Bulldogs, 2-1, took an early lead on the Tigers on their first possession of the night. On the drive, the Bulldogs went 70 yards in 12 plays as Ronnie McCullum slipped in the end zone on a 3-yard run with 3:39 left in the first quarter. The PAT was blocked for a 6-0 Bulldog lead.
McCullum finished the night with 105 yards on 15 carries.
After swapping punts, Newton got its ground game going as the Tigers marched 45 yards in 13 plays. The Tigers evened the score with 3:13 left in the half as Travaone Evans scored on a 1-yard plunge. The Tigers' PAT was also
blocked to leave the score tied at 6-6.
Just before the half, the Bulldogs got the first of their two big plays on the night. With just 33.8 seconds left in the half, Fleming found Sims on a 53-yard touchdown pass. The PAT failed and Bay Springs led 12-6.
The score remained at 12-6 until late in the fourth. The Tigers held the Bulldogs at bay by coming up with some big turnovers. One was a pass interception by Newton's D'Artagan Dawkins at the Newton goal line. Two others were fumble recoveries by Mitchell Hillie and Eddie to stall Bay Springs' drives in the fourth quarter.
The last by Washington gave Newton the ball at the Bay Springs 42 with 3:31 left in the game.
The Tigers then drove down the field on the Bulldogs with Dawkins ripping off a 31-yard run to give Newton the ball at the Bay Springs 5. It took the Tigers four plays to find the end zone but Travaone Evans recovered a fumbled snap in the end zone with 42 seconds left in the game to even the score. After a 5-yard penalty on Newton, the PAT was short to force overtime.
After Bay Springs scored, the Tigers had their chance in overtime but Dawkins fumbled and Bay Springs' Vincent Rogers recovered the ball to secure the win for the Bulldogs.
Bay Springs had 250 yards of offense on the night, 149 on the ground and 101 through the air to go along with 11 first downs. Newton managed only 161 yards of total offense with Dawkins getting 57 yards on 22 carries. The Tigers had 10 first downs.
Newton plays host to Enterprise next week while Bay Springs hosts South Jones.