ST. PETERSBURG — With 2:39 remaining in the game between Indian Rocks Christian and Canterbury, it appeared the Class 2A, District 5 standings would be an even bigger jumbled mess than before the game.
IRC quarterback Casey Woods had just hit Sean Culkin for a 49-yard TD pass that put the Golden Eagles ahead by two scores at 41-27. Canterbury, though, didn’t cave, and instead produced one of the greatest come-from-behind victories of the season.
With the aid of an onside kick, Canterbury scored two touchdowns over the final two minutes to force overtime, took the lead on a Brent O’Neal touchdown and two-point conversion in the extra frame and knocked away an IRC two-point pass attempt for a
Canterbury retains possession of first place in the district and controls its own playoff destiny.
“We turned the ball over four times. We had two touchdowns called back,” Canterbury coach Bill Jones said. “We hurt ourselves all night, but the kids didn’t quit.”
Canterbury (6-1, 5-1) trailed 34-19 with 3:21 to go but crawled to within a touchdown after Jake Holsinger (12-for-22, 340 yards, three touchdowns) hit Brent O’Neal on an 80-yard touchdown pass. Less than a minute later, though, Woods found Culkin with what seemed to be the game-sealing score.
Canterbury, however, wouldn’t go away. On a play where he faked grounding the ball to stop the clock, Holsinger connected with DaSean Thomas (nine catches, 241 yards, three touchdowns) on a 22-yard touchdown pass after Thomas reached over his head with one hand to pull the ball in.
“That’s the best catch I’ve seen all year,” Jones said. “One-handed, back of the end zone, phenomenal.”
Holsinger recovered an onside kick for Canterbury, and after moving the ball down to the IRC 3-yard line in seven plays and 41 seconds, O’Neal rushed into the end zone to tie the score.
In overtime, O’Neal carried twice, running into the end zone from 7 yards out on second down. After IRC (4-3, 3-3) was offside on the extra point, Jones elected to go for two, and O’Neal again powered over the goal line.
“We’ve got playmakers,” Jones said. “We’re confident it’s going to turn out in our favor.”