In a game that featured multiple lead changes, huge defensive stops, and several big plays, Mater Dei scored in overtime and defeated Spotswood 30-24 on Saturday.
Seraphs quarterback Christian Palmer, only 5-10 and approximately 160 pounds, played the biggest when the pressure was on.
“We love this kid,” quarterback coach, Jeff Morton said of Palmer. “He’s worked his butt off since May. He’s on the phone every night with me. Daily, coming out here, putting in the work, putting in the time, never taking anything for granted.”
Palmer engineered a courageous drive in the fourth quarter with under a minute left. Down 24-16, Palmer threw a 38-yard strike to wide receiver Eddie Lewis, cutting the lead to two. On the two-point conversion, Palmer handed the ball off to Tyson White on an option play, and White successfully converted the play, tying the game at 24.
“We stuck to our guns,” Palmer said. “It was great at the end to see some young wide receivers step up, the line did a great job holding their blocks, and overall it was just a great team effort.”
In overtime, Spotswood had the ball first, starting the drive at Mater Dei’s 25-yard line. After two runs for negative yards, a sack, and a dropped ball in the end zone, the Seraphs’ defense gave the ball back to Palmer, needing any kind of score to win the game.
Three plays later, Palmer ran the option play that worked all game from 16 yards out into the end zone for a Seraphs’ game-clinching score.
Spotswood didn’t get much going in the first half, its only score came on a 17-yard field goal from Connor Mcoskey.
In the second half, Spotswood head coach Andy Cammarano opened up the playbook a little more, throwing with quarterback CJ O’Connor, who only had two passing attempts in the first half.
O’Connor made the most of his opportunity, throwing a 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver, Steven Sommer, which tied the game at 10 in the third quarter.
After two more successful drives in the third and fourth quarters, the Chargers went up 24-16, with little time remaining for Mater Dei. However, the Chargers’ defense eventually gave up the game-tying score late in regulation, and the go-ahead touchdown in overtime.
S – Mcoskey 17 yard field goal
M – Safety-ball snapped out of the endzone
M – Palmer 9 yard pass to Miles (two point conversion good)
S – O’Connor 43 yard pass to Sommer (extra point good)
S – Martino 6 yard run (extra point good)
M – White 3 yard run (two point conversion failed)
S – Fee 1 yard run (extra point good)
M – Palmer 38 yard pass to Lewis (two point conversion good)
M – Palmer 16 yard run in OT
RUSHING: M- Palmer 14-132, White 7-25. S- Martino 6-34, Fee 9-30, Long 12-43.
PASSING: M- Palmer 9-19-1-123. S- O’Connor 6-10-2-115
RECEIVING: M- White 2-29, Lewis 3-56, Miles 6-35, Lopez 1-3. S- Sommer 3-97, Fee 2-14, Long 1-4.