Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tarpon Springs 15, Countryside 14

Quarterback Danny Reyes throws a pass for the Spongers in the fourth quarter. Tarpon Springs rallied to win it in the fourth quarter with a 17-play, 86-yard touchdown drive and two-point conversion late in the quarter.


Quarterback Danny Reyes throws a pass for the Spongers in the fourth quarter. Tarpon Springs rallied to win it in the fourth quarter with a 17-play, 86-yard touchdown drive and two-point conversion late in the quarter.

CLEARWATER — A single drop of blood rested on the forehead of Tarpon Springs coach George Kotis following the Spongers' last-minute 15-14 win over Countryside.

A fitting tribute, perhaps, to Kotis' go-for-broke attitude.

After Danny Chaisson plunge into the end zone from less than a yard with 46 seconds remaining in Friday's game to cut Countryside's lead to 14-13, Kotis rolled the dice, calling for a fake extra point.

After receiving the snap, Tarpon Springs holder Josiah Fisk rolled to his left and, with the option to run or pass, dumped a short throw to Drew Kier in the corner of the end zone to successfully execute the two-point conversion and help the Spongers (4-0) escape with the win.

"We preach aggressive football," said Kotis, who received a small gash on his forehead from headbutting a helmet-clad Sponger in celebration. "We don't want to tie people.

"In a non-district game, we really don't want to put them in anymore risk of injury. We were getting out of here either way. Right after we scored, I put my headphones down."

Tarpon's winning score was the culmination of a 17-play drive that started on its 16-yard line with just less than eight minutes remaining.

The Spongers converted three fourth downs on the drive, including a fourth and one from its 25, and converted on second and 32 with a 37-yard Ladarrius Only run into Cougar territory.

Facing first and goal from the 6, Tarpon ran three times up the middle to within inches of the goal line before Chaisson bulldozed in for the score.

Countryside (3-2) tried to attempt a potential winning field goal after returning the ensuing kickoff to its 43-yard line and moving down to the Spongers 27.

But Alton Taylor was ruled down inbounds after catching a 5-yard pass from Jimbo Chmelik, and Countryside couldn't get the field goal off before time expired.

"I'm proud of our kids," Countryside coach John Davis said. "We didn't quit. We got back down there in field goal range with only 40 seconds to go. … They fought all the way. When things looked bad, there was no letdown."

Countryside took a 14-7 lead in the fourth quarter on a 58-yard play-action pass from Chmelik (11-for-19, 202 yards) to Jalen Goodloe.

Tarpon Springs, trailing 7-0 at halftime, took advantage of Dawrence Roberts' fumble at his 6-yard line to tie the score at seven on Fisk's 2-yard carry.

Chmelik hooked up with Todd Shorter midway through the second quarter on a 57-yard catch and run for the game's first score.

Bryan Burns can be reached at or (727) 892-2216.

Tarpon Springs15

Tarpon Springs 15, Countryside 14 10/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 6, 2008 5:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.