HARRISBURG – The Hickory Ridge football team’s offense sputtered for most of the night.
However, on its final offensive possession of its second-round playoff game against Kernersville Glenn, everything clicked.
The fifth-seeded Ragin’ Bulls quickly drove 88 yards for a touchdown with just over a minute remaining but needed the extra point to tie the game.
The kick clanked off the left bar of the upright, and Glenn went on to win, 12-11, in the Class 4A playoffs Friday night in Harrisburg.
Glenn travels to No. 1 seed Greensboro Grimsley next Friday for the third round of the playoffs.
“We had a tough go at it offensively,” Hickory Ridge coach Jupiter Wilson said. “The kids just found a way to get down the field and score. Our quarterback (Kobe Clifton) made some plays, and our receiver (Christian Hamilton) made some plays.”
Hickory Ridge turned the ball over three times and ran for minus-3 yards.
Glenn took a 6-3 lead into halftime when quarterback Camden Coleman completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Aronson Cook.
Hickory Ridge added two points when Glenn’s long snapper sailed the snap over the punter and the punter kicked the ball out of the end zone, resulting in a safety.
The Bobcats took a 12-5 lead on Coleman’s 2-yard rushing touchdown with 6:32 remaining.
“The kids played hard all night. It didn’t go the way we wanted,” Wilson said. “It’s just tough as a coach to see your kids fight on the field like that and come up short.”
Glenn 9-4; Hickory Ridge 8-4
THE PLAY OF THE GAME
On its last offensive series of the night, Hickory Ridge had the ball at its own 12-yard line with 2 minutes, 43 seconds showing on the clock. Clifton connected with Hamilton for 15 yards on fourth down.
The two then connected on back-to-back 34-yard completions, moving the ball to the Glenn 9-yard line before hooking up on a touchdown with 1:05 left in the game.
Wilson said he thought about going for the two-point conversion -- and the win -- but instead opted to go for the tie.
Riley Stubbs, who had missed two field goals earlier, was off the mark on the potential game-tying extra point, hitting the left post of the uprights.
Glenn recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock.
“Maybe the hindsight is 20-20 and I should have went for two, but you trust your guys and go from there,” Wilson said.
-- Running back Monterious Godfrey was the Bobcats’ workhorse on the ground. The junior carried the ball 31 times for 136 yards.
-- The Bobcats’ defense came up with three big takeaways -- two interceptions and a fumble recovery. The latter came midway through the third quarter when Hickory’s Ridge’s Ick Cirino fumbled the football at Glenn’s 15-yard line.
-- Coleman only completed eight of 21 passes for 94 yards, but he tossed a perfect touchdown pass to Cook to give the Bobcats a 6-3 just before halftime.
-- Hamilton 122 yards receiving and scored a touchdown with 1:05 remaining in the game.
-- Clifton passed for 171 yards with a touchdown. He led the Ragin’ Bulls’ 88 yards downfield on their final offensive possession, culminating with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Hamilton.
-- Hickory Ridge’s defense forced a safety, stopped a punt deep in Glenn’s territory, created two turnovers and allowed just 230 yards of offense.
-- Thoughts go out to Hickory Ridge’s senior center Kaiyon Courtney, who was injured in the first half. The game was delayed about 30 minutes, and Courtney was ultimately taken off the field on a stretcher and driven by ambulance to the hospital.
-- Glenn had trouble throughout the night with its long snaps. One bad snap on a punt resulted in Hickory Ridge taking over at the 5-yard line. Another bad snap ended with a safety.
-- Hamilton is going to be a playmaker for years. He’s only a freshman, but he has size, speed and talent to become a big-time player. Just this week, he was offered a scholarship by Virginia Tech.
Glenn 0 6 0 6 – 12
Hickory Ridge 3 0 2 6 -- 11
HR – Riley Stubbs 22 field goal
G – Aronson Cook 24 pass from Camden Colemen (kick missed), :20
HR – Team, safety, 10:39
G – Coleman 2 run (conversion failed), 6:32
HR – Christian Hamilton 24 pass from Kobe Clifton (kick failed), 1:05