Commonwealth Journal

Local Sports

November 17, 2013

Lange saves SHS in overtime thriller

Jumpers win at Middlesboro in Class 2A playoffs to reach regional title tilt at Prestonsburg

Middlesboro, Ky. —

The Somerset Briar Jumpers Beat the Middlesboro Yellowjackets Friday night for a chance to compete for their fifth straight regional title.
The three seed Jumpers had to travel to the Middlesboro home field to compete against the one seed on a rainy night when the ball was wet, the air was cold, and the competition was tough.
It is a role Somerset hasn’t played in recent years.
For the entire span of Robbie Lucas’s career as Somerset head coach, the team had never lost a district game. Such a record created a perennial one seed, stay-at-home playoff schedule, and the theoretically easiest road to the final four.
But a home loss to Danville on October 11 broke that record and forced the Jumpers into a cruel tie breaker with Middlesboro and Danville. Even though they got to share a piece of the District title, the Somerset players would have to travel for the opportunity to put on their helmets for just 48 more minutes.
This time, it took more than 48 minutes of regulation play to get the job done. An Alex Franklin field goal with 34 seconds left in the game led to a sudden victory tie breaker overtime. When the Middlesboro fumbled the ball, Somerset was able to recover and take home the victory.
There is an old, and often misused saying which is attributed to legendary Alabama football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant.
“Offense wins games,” the saying goes, “but defense wins championships.”
With its collective back to the wall, the Briar Jumper team came out onto the field and played a game of hard knocks defense featuring no turnovers, forced errors on the other side, and smash mouth but fair football.
That defense was carried by what is known as the “Interior 7” : Senior Haden Fox, Bailey McEnroe, Kagen Skidmore, Devin Griffith, Tanner Gadberry, Bryson Jones and junior Jacobi Gilmore make up the corps that, time and time again stopped the potent Middlesboro offense.

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