By Terry Collins
GORDONSVILLE — The county’s two junior high football programs met last Saturday night at Turney Ford Field in Gordonsville in one of the most memorable installments of the rivalry in recent years.
Both teams were undefeated entering the contest as Smith Co. Middle was 3-0 while Gordonsville was 2-0.
The resilient Tigers battled back from a two touchdown deficit in the first quarter and posted a 22-20 thrilling overtime win to break a three game losing streak in the series.
“I’m really proud of our kids for fighting like crazy to come from behind and get the win,” said GJHS football head coach Adam Shaw. “Our defense really stepped up after a terrible first quarter, and our offensive line deserves a lot of credit for allowing us to run the ball and keep drives alive. Both communities showed up and it was a great atmosphere for the kids to play in.
The Tigers got the tying touchdown and two-point conversion from Turner Bucher with 1:07 to play in regulation to tie the score at 14-all.
The Owls behind the strong running of Kaiden Mason moved the ball to the Tigers’ three-yard line as time expired to force overtime.
In the extra session, Smith Co. Middle got the ball first and scored on a Mason 10 yard run but the Tigers defense stopped Mason just short of the goal line to thwart the two-point conversion.
Bucher took only two plays to score as he had back-to-back five yard runs to tie the score at 20-all.
Bucher got the carry on the two-point conversion run and went off left tackle to score the game winning two points.
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