Keystone Downs Moniteau, 27-24, in Overtime
Written by: William Albright on Saturday, October 10th, 2009
KNOX — One of the shortest pass completions of the game turned out to be the biggest play of the game for the Keystone Panthers.
With a possible defeat staring them squarely in the eyes, Keystone rallied for 14 unanswered points for a 21-all tie to send their game with Moniteau into overtime.
Not to let their comeback efforts go for naught, the Panthers outscored their guests 6-3 in the extra period for a 27-24 victory in the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference contest.
The Warriors scored first in overtime on a 28-yard field goal by Tony Miller to take a 24-21 lead.
However, on their second play of OT, Keystone wideout Brett Zuck made a leaping grab of a fade pass thrown by quarterback Dan Reed in the right corner of the end zone for the win.
“I can’t say enough about the way these kids battled back and finished the game,” said Keystone coach Jason Nellis. “They played hard and never gave up.”
On the other side of the field, Moniteau coach Jeff Campbell, although disappointed with the loss, was also proud of the effort by his players.
“It is just a shame that either team loses a game like that one,” he said. “Our kids played hard, but the bottom line is that their kid (Zuck) made a great play.”
As for the Keystone comeback in the second half, Nellis pointed to his players playing with a little more emotion, allowing them to get some things going.
“The guys just found ways to make things happen,” he said. “We played with more emotion in the second half, and, as a result, we were able to make some plays.”
Zuck caught six passes for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Reed also had an outstanding game with 257 yards on 11-for-22 passing and four touchdowns.
“He (Zuck) is everything we thought he would be coming into the season,” Nellis said. “He has a lot of height and super speed. When it came down to the end, I said if we can get the ball in the air, I like his chances of catching it.”
Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Moniteau quarterback Kyle Armagost had a big night as well. The sophomore threw for 181 yards in the first half before being held to just 70 in the second half to finish with 251 for the game.
“We made some adjustments on (Armagost in the second half),” said Nellis. “As a coach, you are sometimes stubborn and think what you are doing should be working, but at halftime we switched some things around because our guys didn’t seem comfortable with what we were doing.”
When asked about Armagost‘s maturing to this point in his young career, Campbell was quick to point out that he likes what he sees in his young signalcaller.
“He is progressing very nicely,” Campbell said. “I think sometimes people forget that he is only a sophomore, especially the way he is out there audibilizing. He sees things and checks off stuff, and he is going to make some mistakes, but we know that.”
As for letting a 14-point lead evaporate into the tie and the eventual loss, Campbell said it simply is a matter of his team not taking care of business.
“We simply have to finish the games,” he said. “We have to finish teams off when we have the opportunity to do so, and we have had problems doing that.”
Although there is still a lot of football left to play, Campbell knows that the loss puts his team in a must-win situation when it comes to getting into the postseason.
“It is not the end of our season. It just makes it really hard for us,” he said. “It makes it tough for us to get into the playoffs, that is for sure.”
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