Tennessean: JPII stops 2-point try in OT for win

After losing seven consecutive games, Pope John Paul II needed a boost before the Division II-AA playoffs.

The Knights got it by working a little overtime.

The Knights stopped visiting White House’s two-point conversion attempt to hang on for a 42-41 victory Friday night at JPII.

White House (6-4) scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Steven Rankin to Brian Mullins to give itself a chance to win, but Rankin’s pass for Luke Hopkins fell incomplete at the goal line.

“(Pope John Paul II) made some big plays (in the second half),” White House coach Jeff Porter said. “It was a tale of two halves. We had the momentum in the first half, and I thought they gained it in the third quarter. Our kids fought back, but we couldn’t get a stop (in overtime) and decided to go for the win.”

The Knights (3-7) scored in overtime on a 10-yard TD run from senior Quer’Derius Hunter, after the Blue Devils won the coin toss and elected to go on defense first.

Turnovers cost the Knights two touchdowns, as White House senior Chris Baldwin intercepted a pass from JPII sophomore quarterback Ben Brooks in the second quarter, returning it 101 yards to give the Blue Devils a 14-0 lead.

“We were moving the ball all night,” Brooks said. “But we had two turnovers in the red zone that really killed us.”

White House got a 2-yard touchdown run from junior tailback Trey Hyde to put the Blue Devils up 21-0 at halftime.

“We were out of control out there in the first half,” Brooks said. “We just needed to come back and regroup out there.”

A Hyde fumble set the Knights up for their first points in the third quarter, as Hunter cashed in from 4 yards out. He added a 30-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter following Hyde’s 8-yard jaunt.

“We made some mistakes that were costly,” Knights coach Jerry Joslin said.

“(Porter) had really prepared their team well and they ran over us in the first half.”

Baldwin, who left the game in the second quarter with an injury after a hit on the sideline, returned in the second half and added a 95-yard kickoff return for a score with 2:40 remaining in regulation.

That return happened seconds after Knight sophomore Jermaine Mason scored on a 71-yard TD run.

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