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Sharks are lucky and good

A missed extra point allows Nature Coast Tech to escape with a 29-28 overtime win over Citrus.

By DAWN REISS
Published October 14, 2006


INVERNESS - Sometimes teams are good. And sometimes they are lucky. Nature Coast Tech was a little of both in a 29-28 overtime thriller over Citrus that clinched a playoff berth for the fourth-year program.

With the game tied at 22, Nature Coast coach Jamie Joyner pulled his team in close.

"Four years for four plays," Joyner said. "Everything we've worked for has all come down to this."

It only took one, a quick 10-yard dump pass from quarterback Josh Ortiz to Mike Cole. Kicker Josh Stechenfinger secured the win with the extra point.

With Citrus' star back, Antoin Scriven, sideline with an undisclosed injury, quarterback Bradley Paul handed off to Derek Paquette, giving him a good-luck sendoff slap on the back as he weaved through defenders for a 5-yard run. On second-and-goal, looking for open receivers and finding none, Paul then kept it on the next play to score from 5 yards.

The Citrus fans cheered wildly and, after a brief timeout, kicker Brian Tobin set up for the 'Canes extra point that would have tied the game again in overtime. With Shark defenders' hands in the air, the kick arched low and missed the goal post en route to a Nature Coast win.

For much of the game, it was Tevin Drake who carried the Sharks' load, scoring touchdowns on runs of 80 and 75 yards, with 25 carries for 243 yards.

Ortiz put the Sharks ahead early on a quarterback keeper in the first quarter. But with Nature Coast backed down to its 1, kicking from its end zone later in the quarter, Jeremy Welfel scored a safety, followed by Patrick Kruis' 30-yard touchdown run.

The 'Canes drove 58 yards to the 3 but were unable to score, opting instead for an 18-yard field goal that Nature Coast blocked. Drake followed with his 80-yard sideline streak on the Sharks' next drive for a 15-8 halftime lead.

A Nature Coast fumble on punt return coverage set up Paul's 9-yard touchdown pass. Another Nature Coast fumble two plays later helped Citrus drive back down again, but on second-and-8, Mike Dorsey picked off a Paul pass in the end zone.