FORT MEADE — Tobias Culpepper caught Jay Smith’s 44-yard pass in the end zone on the final play Friday night, turning Fort Meade’s Class 3, District 4 defeat into a victory over Berkeley Prep.
After quarterback Brad Mayes scored his second touchdown to give Berkeley Prep a 21-17 lead with 23.9 seconds left, Smith threw 13 yards to Ladarius Clark, and a 15-yard penalty set up the Miners at the Berkeley 44 . An incompletion left Fort Meade with just 2.2 seconds left.
Smith rolled to his left and barely got off his long pass .
“I just figured my guys were better than their guys, and I looked up and saw black (uniforms) on that side of the end zone, so that’s where I threw it,” said Smith.
Culpepper admitted the situation looked bleak for the Miners (5-1, 1-1) after the Buccaneers had finished a 15-play, 74-yard touchdown drive with less than 30 seconds to play.
Berkeley (2-3, 0-2) got its running game going in the first half and took a 14-7 lead on 1-yard runs by Smith and Anthony Pellegrino.
But Fort Meade switched to a no-huddle in the second half. The Miners opened with a 75-yard drive resulting in Diego Maldonado’s 31-yard field goal, and Smith engineered a 75-yard touchdown drive later in the third quarter .
It stayed that way until the Buccaneers put together their touchdown drive that consumed seven minutes late in the fourth quarter .