Charlotte Country Day coach Bob Whitman says that if his Buccaneers and arch-rival Charlotte Latin were to play 10 times, each would probably win five and almost all would go down to the final minute.
Friday night was no different, as Country Day (6-4 overall, 2-1 CISAA) quarterback Cole Bloomer scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:05 left to defeat host Latin (8-2, 1-2) 24-21 at Patten Stadium.
“This is the way it seemingly always is,” Whitman said. “It was a gutsy game and one that you knew would come down to the last seconds.”
Neither team led by more than a touchdown all night, and after three quarters the long-time rivals were tied at 14.
Country Day’s Jonathon Dellinger kicked a 37-yard field goal 16 seconds into the fourth to take the lead back 17-14, but Latin answered, going 69 yards in ten plays, and scoring when Jones threw to Melvin Rouse, who dove just inside the pylon for an 11-yard touchdown and a 21-17 Latin lead.
After a Country Day punt with 5:57 left, Latin nearly put the game away, as Jones threw deep on third down the left side to Jennings for a big catch, but Jennings was stripped as he was going down and Country Day gained possession at their own 16 with 4:16 left.
Bloomer started the drive with a 22-yard run, then hit Stukie Phillips for a 44-yard pass down to Latin’s 18. Three plays later Country Day was at the one, where Bloomer snuck the ball in for the game-winning score.
“There weren’t many openings for me to run,” Bloomer said, “but on that last drive there were. We said in the huddle that this was our opportunity to take the game, and that’s what we did.”
Latin took possession at their 27 and got as far as midfield, but a fourth-down pass from Jones to Jennings fell incomplete and Country Day held on for the win and a likely home game against Latin next week in the private school playoffs.
Both quarterbacks played well, as Bloomer accounted for 215 yards and three scores for Country Day while Jones had 319 total yards and three touchdowns for Latin.
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