FORT PAYNE, Ala. — The Fort Payne Wildcats are the 6A Region 8 Champs after defeating the Buckhorn Bucks 36-35 in overtime last Thursday night.
In the first quarter with 6:30 remaining, the Bucks scored on a 80-yard touchdown run to take the early lead, 7-0.
With 8:19 remaining in the second quarter, Hunter Love dashed into the end zone for the Fort Payne Wildcats. The extra point attempt by Alex McPherson was good to tie the game 7-7. With :22 remaining in the first half, J.D Blalock connected with Carter Pinholster on a 50-yard pass to give the Wildcats the 14-7 lead going into the half.
In the third quarter Fort Payne struck again with a 7-yard touchdown run from Love, giving the Wildcats the 21-7 lead with 5:55 left in the third. Buckhorn answered back with a 70-yard touchdown making the score 21-14 at the end of the third.
With 9:17 remaining in the fourth quarter Matthew Shaddix scored from 7-yards out giving the Wildcats the 28-14 lead. Buckhorn answered back with a touchdown to make the score 28-21 with 6:15 left in the fourth. The Bucks raced into the endzone once again to tie the game 28-28 with .27 seconds remaining in the game. The Wildcats attempted a 52-yard field goal for the win but the snap was bad, sending the game into overtime.
Buckhorn had the ball first in overtime and completed a touchdown pass. The PAT was good giving the Bucks, the 35-28 lead. Love punched it in from 1-yard out for the Wildcats. The Fort Payne Wildcats made a gutsy call and went for two. Love bulldozed into the endzone to win the game 36-35.
Hunter Love led the WIldcats with three touchdowns for the night and scored the winning 2-point conversion, making him the Southern Torch Standout of the Night.
“It was a very exciting game with great plays from both teams’’, said Head Coach Chris Elmore. “Buckhorn deserves a lot of credit for forcing the game into overtime after being down two toucdowns in the fourth quarter, but give our team credit for not losing their composure and executing in overtime and on the 2 point play that won the game. Hunter Love had a great game with over 200 yards rushing but our offensive line and receivers deserve recognition as well for the way they blocked for him. It’s great for our kids to have won the Region two years in a row. I am very proud of our Assistant coaches and players.”
Fort Payne will host the Hazel Green Trojans on Friday.