This is from October 18. A version of this story was published in The New Orleans Advocate
By BEN LEDBETTER
Special to The Advocate
It looked like the game ended in regulation when Northlake Christian’s Miguel Black picked up a James Cox fumble and ran 80 yards for a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game.
That touchdown was called back for unsportsmanlike conduct, however, the Wolverines defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 14-13 in overtime Friday at Strawberry Stadium.
“At first I thought it was a penalty for excessive celebration,” said Northlake coach Tony Agresta about the call. “We were trying to figure out where we were going to kick the extra point from, if we wanted to move it to a hash and give our kicker a little bit because the extra point still might have been big.”
Agresta said the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was given because one of his players bumped into an official.
The Wolverines ( 7-0, 4-0 District 7-2A got the ball first and on the second play, Taylor Mussachia made a 2-yard run to put Northlake up 14-7.
When St. Thomas Aquinas (5-2, 3-1) got its turn it scored on fourth down when quarterback Dillon Lee completed an 8-yard pass to Luke Bleakley. The Falcons went for the 2-point conversion and that pass was ruled complete, which gave Northlake Christian the win.
“We got the momentum,” said St. Thomas Aquinas coach John White about his decision to go for two points. “We worked hard. Let’s see if we can make it.”
Much of the first quarter started as a battle of defenses as neither team was able to go past the 20-yard line. That changed at the 1:58 mark of the first quarter when St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Dillon Lee completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Luke Bleakley and that put the Falcons up 7-0.
Following a St. Thomas fumble, the Wolverines recovered inside the 10-yard line and that set up Taylor Mussachia 6-yard touchdown run that tied the score with 11:12 left in the second quarter.
The Wolverines looked like they were going they were going to score again and made it down to the 15 yard line, however Cameron Dantzler picked off a Josh O’Rear pass and St. Thomas was able to move across midfield to the Northlake 33 yard-line.
O’Rear got to avenge the interception. The Falcons were at the 33-yard line and Lee threw a long pass to the end zone. O’Rear recovered the ball near the 5-yard line and ran back to the 34-yard line.
“I made a bad throw on their end, about to score,” said O’Rear. “I just didn’t get my head down and made aplay on the other end of the ball. I was just trying to help my team as best I could.”
By the end of the half, St. Thomas Aquinas was able to get to the 15-yard line.
For the Falcons, Lee finished with 93 passing yards, completing five of 12 attempts at halftime.
Mussachia finished the half with 48 rushing yards on 11 carries at the half for Northlake. O’Rear ended the half with 65 rushing yards on seven carries.
The Falcons looked like they were going to make another push for the end zone. James Cox made a 50-yard run to bring the ball inside the 30. On their next possession, which continued into the fourth quarter, St. Thomas made it inside the 20-yard line. However the Falcons were not able to go any further and turned the ball over on downs at the 26-yard line.
“If you’re going to win a championship, if you’re going to have a great year, at some point in time you’re going to have to overcome some adversity,” Agresta said. “I think our boys did that tonight. It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world. It was hard fought, but we overcame adversity and I think that was the biggest difference.”