|Pharoah’s four scores lift Tribe in a thriller
By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
Senior wide receiver/defensive back Pharoah Davis scored four touchdowns Friday night, including two in the final minute of the game, as the Montgomery County Indians extended their football season with a 35-28 playoff victory over Dixie Heights at Cunningham Field.
Not only did Davis score four times, he also factored in on one of the game’s key decisions that came after his 32-yard touchdown reception from Trey Ishmael that came with just :59 seconds to play.
That catch brought the Indians to within 28-27 and the Tribe had lined up to go for a two-point conversion and the win when Davis nixed the deal.
“On a play like that you go to your best player,” said Coach Jamie Egli. “It was going to be the fade route to Pharoah. But he simply said kick it, so we called a time out and we kicked the extra point to tie the game.”
We’ll never know what might have happened on that two-point conversion but it sure worked out for the Indians.
The Indians kicked off to Dixie Heights and the ball went out of bounds to give the Colonels the ball at their own 35.
Remarkably there would be 12 plays run in those final 59 seconds.
A nine-yard pass play, runs of zero and seven yards and an incomplete pass left :33 on the clock and Dixie Heights with the football at the Montgomery County 49.
That’s when Dixie junior quarterback Jeremy Adams, who scored all four of the Colonels’ touchdowns in the game, tried to squeeze a pass into a tight zone and junior linebacker Tyler Hamm picked it off and returned it to the Dixie Heights’ 43 with :27 to go.
There were, of course, some timeouts being used during this bizarre final minute.
Ishmael then dropped a perfect pass over the shoulder of Justin Korossy right on the sideline and he made a sensational catch, stepping out of bounds at the Dixie Heights 14 yard line.
After a Josh Wheaton three-yard run and the Indians’ final timeout, Ishmael hit Davis in the corner of the end zone on an 11-yard scoring play to give the Indians their first lead of the night with just :09.5 left on the clock.
In those final seconds after the kickoff the Colonels would throw three incomplete passes and get called for a penalty before the game ended with one of the more sensational finishes ever at Cunningham Field.
“What a game,” Egli said. “And what was really special is that it came in the playoffs.
“We knew that their record was not indicative of the kind of football team they were. That’s a pretty good team that came in here with some momentum. We were a little flat but our kids played through that and made some great plays to win the game.”
Another sidelight to the game was the play of Tyler Hamm who appeared to suffer a dislocated knee cap during the game. But it simply popped back into place and he was there to make the interception that set up the winning touchdown.
“That’s Hambone,” as Egli refers to his team’s leading tackler. “He’s going to be out there if at all possible. It looked like he was really injured and a lot of players might not have been back in there, but that’s not him.”
Cov. Catholic next
So with a playoff win under their belts the Indians will take a 9-2 record to northern Kentucky this Friday night to play the No. 1 team in the state in Covington Catholic.
“How many times do you get a chance to play the No. 1 team,” Egli noted. “The kids are really excited because they think they can win. It’ll be a really big challenge but we’ll show up to play and see what happens.”
Covington Catholic defeated Woodford County, 49-0, Friday night to run their winning streak to 26 games and their current record to 11-0.
Anderson County and Ft. Thomas Highlands will play Friday night at Lawrenceburg in the other half of the regional bracket as the Class 5A field will be reduced to just eight teams after this week’s action.
The Indians really struggled to get going Friday night against Dixie Heights.
The Colonels took the opening kickoff and went 65 yards in seven plays to grab a 7-0 lead on a 35-yard dash up the middle by Adams with Logan Sansone adding the first of his four successful extra points.
On the Indians’ first offensive effort of the night they just managed to get across midfield when they were stopped on downs and the Colonels promptly went 54 yards in eight plays to score again.
Junior tailback Leon Marshall was the primary weapon on that drive with runs of 23, eight and six to set up the one-yard scoring plunge by Adams that made it 14-0.
Then came what looked like it might be the game-breaker for the Tribe as they went 65 yards in 17 plays and used just under 10 minutes off the clock only to be stopped at the Dixie Heights’ six yard line.
Here came Dixie again, marching right down the field and looking at first and goal from the 10 yard line with a chance to maybe put the game out of reach.
Then Davis picked off a pass at the three yard line and raced down the sideline for 97 yards and a touchdown.
That cut the lead to 14-7 with Zane Carter hitting the first of his five extra points.
That score came with just 1:34 left in the half but after the kickoff Adams completed a 52-yard pass to Dylan Sears and the Colonels moved down to a fourth and four at the MCHS 12 and tried a field goal with just :23 to play in the half to give them a two-score lead again.
But the kick was blocked and the Indians went to halftime trailing just 14-7 and knowing they would get the football to begin the second half.
However, the second half didn’t begin so well with Ishmael suffering his second interception of the game on the third play from scrimmage.
The Colonels managed a couple of first downs but then the defense held and the Tribe got the ball back.
This time Korossy found a seam in the Dixie Heights defense and raced 76 yards for a touchdown to tie the game with 6:17 to play in the third q