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Williamsport win not by the book

September 12, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

WILLIAMSPORT - In most cases, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But the Williamsport football team isn't most cases. Instead, the team believes that if it is broke, improvise.

With one play remaining, the Wildcats' playbook went out the window and quarterback Ryan Graybill was running by the seat of his pants. Graybill made the best of a bad thing, finding Clint Crowell on a seven-yard corner move with 11.2 seconds remaining Friday to give the Wildcats a come-from-behind 34-27 Monocacy Valley Athletic League win over Catoctin.

Williamsport (2-0, 1-0) did a lot wrong - six fumbles and nine penalties to name a few - to find itself trailing 27-17 after three quarters. But the Wildcats rallied for 17 points in the final 8 minutes, 19 seconds of the game to pull out the stunning victory.

And the decisive play grew off one that didn't work.

"Ryan made a heck of a play," Williamsport coach Eric Michael said. "It was a busted play but he kept the ball alive and made something happen. The tight end got knocked off his route. Clint got the cornerback to bite on his post route and made a nice play."

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Williamsport, which used an early methodical offense to tire out the Cougars, scored on Matt Bowman's 33-yard field goal and Greg King's six-yard run to draw within 27-20 with 2:55 remaining to tie the game at 27-27. The defense stopped the Cougars on the Williamsport 31 with 1:30 left.

Graybill masterfully moved Williamsport downfield by rolling out of the pocket on sideline passes. He hit Crowell on three passes in five plays as the Wildcats got to Catoctin's 19 with 48.7 seconds left.

After two runs by Adam Tournay got the Wildcats to the 7, Williamsport called its final time out with 15.7 seconds remaining.

"We said we had to score in a hurry," Michael said. "We felt the secondary was soft, so we tried to hit 5-10 yard passes. We decided to take one more shot at it in the end."

Crowell came off the line, took a jab step to the left and cut through the end zone, free by 10 yards, as Graybill delivered the winning pass.

"We just pulled together and never gave up," Crowell said. "We just dug deep and came together as a team."

Williamsport, which had 451 yards of offense, led 17-7 at the half. The Cougars fought back, taking the lead when Chad Dewees stripped J.J. Delinois of the ball at the Catoctin 2 and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown and a 20-17 lead.

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