COLUMBUS, Kan. -- Straton Hunziker found himself wide open in the end zone to catch Johnathan Stark's 10-yard pass for the game-winning score on Fort Scott's possession of the second overtime period Friday night as Fort Scott High improved to 2-0 on the season with a 35-32 vicvory over Columbus.
Columbus was able to gain only one yard on its possession of the second OT and settled for a 25-yard Taylor Watkins field goal to take the lead.
Hunziker's touchdown was actually set up by the Tigers' 2-point conversion run in the first overtime that gave them a 29-21 lead at the time before Columbus tied it on the first play of its possession in that period.
"We ran 'blast' out of the wishbone," an exhausted Fort Scott Head Coach Bob Campbell said. "And we thought we'd show it again but run our bootleg off of it. Strat sold it. Our backs sold it. John Stark sold it, got it out there, Strat was open. The play action carried over from the (previous) series."
Fort Scott had to overcome uncharacteristic turnovers -- three lost fumbles and an interception -- and even Mother Nature. An unusual week ended with the team having trouble getting out of town following the severe thunderstorm that hit the town earlier, another game on a swampy field and the school's first overtime game in at least 23 years.
"We had a lot of adversity to overcome tonight," Campbell said. "Marcus (Floyd) sprained an ankle in the first half. Garin Sinn (a lineman) couldn't play because of a sprained ankle. Zach Denton (defensive back) got injured. Guys had to step up. John Allen and John Hughes had to play in the secondary. I thought they did a very good job. Race Kastl came in at tailback and ran the ball well."
Kastl finished as the Tigers' leading rusher with 67 yards on 11 carries, many of them up the middle. Fort Scott rushed for 204 of its 302 total yards. Columbus ran for 203 of its 302 yards despite missing starting tailback Zane Roark, who tore a knee ligament in the previous week's loss to Southeast.
Fort Scott scored on the game's first possession, a 12-play, 65-yarder that ate up over 5 1/2 minutes of game time. Stark found Jash Pytlowanty in the right side of the end zone on a fourth-and-12 play from the Columbus 21 with 6:25 on the clock. Allen kicked the extra point.
The Titans (0-2) scored on back-to-back second-quarter possessions off Tiger turnovers. Taylor Watkins scored the first TD on a 5-yard run with 9:40 to go but the extra-point kick failed.
Floyd fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Columbus recovered at the Fort Scott 48. Eight plays later, A.J. Randle hauled in a tipped pass in the end zone to give the Titans a 13-7 lead with 6:32 to go following Watkins' kick.
The Tigers scored just before halftime on Stark's 2-yard keeper over the right side of the line with six seconds on the clock. Allen's PAT put Fort Scott up 14-13.
Stark extended the lead to 21-13 on a 16-yard keeper over the left side with exactly seven minutes on the clock in the third. The drive was set up when A.J. Wary was stripped of the ball on a punt return, which Kastl recovered at the Titan 30.
Jace McDown scored from one yard out with 4:18 to go for Columbus. Randle hauled in a pass from Bole for the 2-point conversion that tied the score at 29-29.
The Tigers drove 50 yards in just under four minutes to get to the Columbus 15 with 15 seconds to go. Allen's 33-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Wary and the Titans chose to take a knee and send the game to overtime.
Columbus won the coin toss and chose to play defense first. Hughes scored on a one-yard run to put the Tigers ahead 27-21. Allen's extra-point kick failed but Columbus was whistled for roughing the kicker. With the ball about a yard and a half closer to the goal line, Fort Scott chose to go for two and Kastle bulled his way into the end zone.
The Titans tied it on the first play of their possession as Bole found Randle for the touchdown. Bole ran in the 2-pointer himself to tie the score at 29-29.
Stark completed 8 of 18 passes for 98 yards. Hunziker caught five of the for 54 yards while Pytlowany caught the other three for 44 yards. Stark also ran for 46 yards on 15 carries while Floyd fought his sprained ankle as much as he could and managed 56 yards on 12 rushes.
Bole went 6 of 14 for Columbus for 99 yards and also rushed for 106 yards on 26 rushes.
The Tigers will play rival Pittsburg on the road next Friday at Hutchinson Field. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Fort Scott..... 7 7 7 0 8 6 --35
Columbus.... 0 13 0 8 3 -- 32
|Team Stats||Fort Scott||Columbus|
FS - Pytlowany 21 pass from Stark (J.Allen kick), 6:25 [12, 62, 5:35]
C - Watkins 5 run (pass failed), 9:40 [8, 76, 3:12]
C - Randle 16 pass from Bole (Watkins kick), 6:32 [8, 48, 2:59]
FS - Stark 2 run (J.Allen kick), :06 [7, 43, 1:34]
FS - Stark 16 run (J.Allen kick), 7:00 [5, 30, 2:29]
C - McDown 1 run (Randle pass from Bole), 4:18 [7, 45, 2:38]
FS - V.Hughes 1 run (Kastl run) [3, 10]
C - Randle 10 pass from Bole (Bole run) [1, 10]
C - FG Watkins 25 [4, 1]
FS - Hunziker 10 pass from Stark (no conversion attempted) [1, 10]
RUSHING: Fort Scott - Kastl 11-67, Floyd 12-56, Stark 15-46, V.Hughes 10-27, Pytlowany 2-8. Columbus - Bole 26-106, Watkins 6-36, Morgan 2-33, Jones 2-15, Randle 4-15, McDown 3-5, Wary 1-minus 4, team 1-minus 3.
PASSING: Fort Scott - Stark 8-18-1-98. Columbus - Bole 6-14-1-99.
RECEIVING: Fort Scott: Hunziker 5-54, Pytlowany 3-44. Columbus - Morgan 3-56, Randle 2-26, Danner 1-17.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: Fort Scott - J.Allen 33 (blocked).