CUNNINGHAM, Tenn. – A late touchdown and a successful point-after kick gave Montgomery Central a 14-13 victory over Clarksville Academy Thursday night.
On third-and-five, Indians quarterback Peyton Delvendahl connected with Dequimothy Northingtonfor a 34-yard touchdown catch, and Austin Neelyfollowed with a point-after kick to give Montgomery a 1-point lead with 1:16 remaining.
A 37-yard kickoff return by Clarksville Academy was called back for an illegal block in the back, leaving the Cougars to start a drive from their own 27. Quarterback Michael Conn converted a fourth-and-two with a 7-yard run.
But two incomplete passes and an 11-yard sack by Shemar Wesley ended any hopes for the Cougars. By the final buzzer, the Indians reclaimed the Battle of the River Trophy for the first time since 2011.
Conn was nearly flawless in the air, connecting for nine passes on 13 attempts. He also rushed for 45 yards.
Fortunately for the Indians, it was a turnaround from the 42-7 pounding they suffered at the hands of Clarksville Academy last year.
By the end of the night, with the help of his 34-yard winning touchdown pass, Delvendahl threw for 116 on 10 completions in 16 attempts. The quarterback also rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Down by six points, the Indians had 4:35 to get the points that would give them the eventual victory. The Indians converted two first downs on that drive, including the winning pass to Northington.
The two squads were tied 7-7 at the half. Nearly seven minutes into the third quarter, Konar Chapman reached daylight when he rushed for a 41-yard touchdown. But the point-after kick failed, and the Cougars were left having to defend a six-point lead.
It took only three plays for Clarksville Academy to get that leading touchdown after the Cougars gained good field position when Conn recovered a fumble.
The Indians followed Clarksville Academy’s touchdown with an 8:55 drive that ended in a turnover on downs. During that drive, the Indians converted two fourth-down conversions and brought the ball all the way down to Clarksville Academy’s 5-yard line.
An incomplete pass on fourth down ended Montgomery Central’s drive, but the Indian defense forced a three-and-out, leaving the Cougars punting from their own 15.
John Austin Peay punted the ball for 34 yards to the Indians, who gained possession at Clarksville Academy’s 49-yard line. Peay punted for 153 yards in four tries.
Six plays later, the Indians were in the end zone for the tie and the winning extra point.
The Indians drew first blood in the first quarter with a 32-yard run by T.J. Sauers set up a goal-line touchdown rush for Delvendahlwith 8:31 remaining in the first quarter. Sauers led the Indians in rushing with 87 yards on six attempts.
But the Cougars responded less than three minutes later. Clarksville Academy began that drive when running back Jaleel Stubbsfound Cody Parsonsfor a 44-yard pass. Several plays later Stubbs rushed for a 5-yard touchdown with 5:34 remaining in the half.
Kin Easter, freelance writer