COSBY—An overtime thriller opened up the season for the Cosby High Eagles against longtime rival Hancock County on Friday night.
A 38-yard touchdown from senior Hunter Workman of Cosby to sophomore Dominic Cowles sent Cosby and Hancock County into overtime with a 20-20 score. The overtime was all that was needed with junior Caleb Lawson executing the touchdown to put the Eagles ahead. Lawson would then grab the game-sealing sack on the Indians’ fourth down to give Cosby the 26-20 win in overtime.
“We felt good going into overtime,” head coach of Cosby Kevin Hall said. “We felt like we had the momentum towards the end of the fourth quarter. We had some things happen in our favor. I tried to take a chance in regulation, but I knew we could get them in overtime. It was an exciting way to start the season with a win.”
A wild fourth quarter gave Cosby the momentum heading into overtime. After the 38-yard touchdown delivery from Workman to Cowles, senior Jeremy Wise picked the ball off to give the Eagles a chance in regulation.
However, Cosby could not succeed in regulation. The big plays followed into overtime to execute a big offensive and defensive possession for the win.
Lawson put together 12 rushes for 38 yards and had the go-ahead touchdown and game-winning sack. Alongside him, Wise had three receptions for 47 yards, a touchdown, eight tackles and an interception in his debut.
“I knew I had to make some plays out there,” Wise said. “I’ve been told since I stepped into practice that I would be seeing a lot of plays come my way, so I did what I could. We have practiced, practiced, and practiced. It paid off here and I’m excited.”
Workman led the way for the Eagles completing 9-of-13 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns and gained 50 yards on 12 attempts on his feet.
Cosby’s surprise air attack won it the game with every touchdown but one coming through the air.
“We lost one of our best players in Eduardo Gonzalez, which took us away from running the ball some,” Hall said. “Workman stepped up for us, and as a junior quarterback, he has stepped up and excelled his leadership and game.”
Hancock County had a balanced game but could not get it done in overtime.
The Indians began on the right foot, though. Their second drive of the game punched themselves into the end zone with a nine-play, 79-yard drive.
Hancock County lined up at the one-yard line and punched it in with a quarterback sneak from junior Darran Collins.
Cosby trailed Hancock County 6-0 at the beginning of the second quarter but would march right back to steal the lead in the last seconds of the same quarter.
Workman started to make his presence known with this drive on a couple of good passes.
The senior took the snap from the 25 and delivered to senior Anthony Thomas to give Cosby six. The Eagles executed a successful two-point conversion right after to take an 8-6 lead with 48 seconds remaining in the half.
“Thomas had a great grab there,” Hall said. “I think that may have been his first touchdown of his career and it was a great one. He went right over the top of the defender for the score. That helped us get going and start with some confidence.”
The Indians were the first to put up six on the board in the new half.
Hancock County began its drive at its own 40 and marched downfield in seven plays. The handoff to Collins for a three-yard score.
Cosby continued the trend scoring right after Hancock County. Receiving the ball with good field position at Hancock County’s 46. Workman delivered a touchdown pass to Wise from 26 yards out after marching the ball 20 yards.
The Eagles snatched a 14-12 lead, but Hancock County would not let it hold for long.
“We played tough defense,” Hall said. “Hancock County’s offense is good. We knew we had to score and move the ball on offense, too. Workman looked at me in the huddle and said, ‘coach, I got it,’ and he led the way out there.”
The Indians marched the ball 71 yards for a score to take a 20-14 lead. Snapping the ball from the nine-yard line, Blevins threw a pass to senior Ethan Short for the score. Hancock County converted a two-point conversion to grasp an eight-point advantage in the fourth quarter.
Cosby found itself in trouble on a fourth-down situation, but Workman did not panic. He delivered the pass to Cowles to tie the game at 20 after the two-point conversion failed.
“I’ve been telling people to watch out for (Cowles),” Hall said. “He can go and he beat his defender one-on-one. He is going to be a great player for us. He’s sneaky good.”
Hancock County had the opportunity to grab a lead, but Wise erased the chances with his interception inside the 10-yard line and returning it 34 yards to give the Eagles a chance.
“The interception was unbelievable,” Hall said. “The only thing that would’ve made it better is if he went and scored. That’s a huge play to take some momentum away from Hancock County. I think it won us the ball game, stopping that scoring drive.”
That chance failed but took the game to overtime where Cosby took its confidence.
Lawson punched in the 10-yard touchdown for the Eagles on the first play of overtime to grab the 26-20 lead.
“I didn’t plan on Lawson carrying the ball that much,” Hall said. “He got it done for us, though, when we needed him. Eduardo went out and we were missing a big piece, but Lawson was ready for the touches and made some big plays for us.”
Six more points were enough, as Lawson, again, came up big in overtime with the sack on fourth down to put the final stamp on the game.
The Eagles escaped with a 26-20 victory in overtime.
Cosby takes the confidence and win with it into next week on the road against Unaka.