Homecoming night couldn’t have possibly panned out any better for Walnut Springs.
The weather was great, the queen was crowned, and a Six-Man district thriller went the way of the Hornets in overtime.
Walnut Springs had to work much harder for its fourth straight win than for its previous three. Leverett’s Chappel pushed the Hornets all the way to double overtime before a defensive stop and a 26-yard game-winning touchdown gallop Eddie Whitt sent the homecoming crowd into a frenzy.
And rightfully so.
The 72-66 win pushes the Hornets’ eason mark to 5-3 and their league mark to 3-0 entering Friday’s showdown with Iredell.
Leverett’s Chapel scored on a pair of touchdown passes in the final two minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime at 60-60, then struck quickly with a 25-yard touchdown pass in the extra session. The extra point was blocked, leaving the Hornets down by six.
Walnut Springs answered with a scoring pass from Matthew Prescher to Whitt, but the Hornets also had their PAT blocked, putting the victory celebration on hold.
The defensive stand and another Whitt touchdown in double overtime ended it, however, leaving Walnut Springs one win away from likely advancing to the Class A Six-Man Division 2 state playoffs.
Early on, it looked like another simple rout for the Hornets, as Kody Stack and Zach Turnham sacked the LC quarterback for a safety, Prescher scored on a 13-yard run and Whitt hooked up with Jacob White on a 25-yard scoring pass.
The 14-0 lead wouldn’t last, however, as LC touchdown plunges of one and two yards, sandwiched around a 57-yard scoring sprint by Kody Stack, cut the Hornet lead to 22-14 at the end of one.
LC tied the score with an 18-yard pass and a 2-point kick midway through the second, but the Hornets came right back with a 43-yard touchdown run and a 14-yard scoring strike from Whitt to Turnham to move ahead, 38-22.
A one-yard LC touchdown rush followed by a six-yard Whitt to Turnham pass made it 44-30 at the half before the visiting team took over following the break.
LC scored the first two and last two touchdowns of the second half to force the overtime. The first two scores came on a 20-yard pass and a three-yard run; the last two on a pair of passes covering 24 and 14 yards.
Walnut Springs added a pair of touchdowns to keep pace, the first coming on a 47-yard run by Kody Stack, the second on a 13-yard pass from Whitt to Turnham.
Walnut Springs amassed 613 yards of offense in the thriller, 420 of which came on the ground.
Kody Stack carried the ball 14 times for 158 yards, Caleb Ballesteros 15 for 133.
Whitt was a model of efficiency behind center, connecting on 15 of 20 pass attempts for 184 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 78 yards on six trips. Whitt hit three receivers at least five times each. Presher had six catches for 55 yards, while White had five for 76 and Turnham had five for 53.
In addition to his big game on the ground, Stack was in on 13 tackles, 11 of them solo. White made 10 stops and also picked off a pair of LC pass attempts.
Walnut Springs tries to pick up an all-important third district win on the road Friday against Iredell, which is 2-5 on the season.