By: Wes Brink | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | September 24, 2006
MUNCY - Darren Mahoney had helped convert four fourth-down conversions and had just thrown a touchdown pass to bring his team to within a point in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter. So when Wyalusing coach Gary Otis called for a two-point conversion, Mahoney didn't panic. He simply gave his team the win.
Mahoney converted a two-point try with just 38 seconds left to erase a 13-point first-half deficit and propel his Rams to a 22-21 Northern Tier League (NTL) win over Muncy Saturday night at Stanley T. Schuyler Stadium.
"Our kicker was having some problems and we pretty much made our mind up that we were going for two," said Otis. "We weren't going to try to kick for the tie, we were going for two, it didn't matter how much time was left. We were going for two and it paid off for us."
Mahoney's two-point score was an exclamation point on a drive that started at the Ram 25 and came just moments after Muncy had taken the lead on a Kyle Hill to Thad Martin touchdown.
During the decisive 11-play, 75-yard drive, Mahoney converted a third-and-10 with a 27-yard pass to Jim Chadwick as well as a fourth-and-3 on with the help of a one-handed catch by Chadwick at the 17 yard-line.
On a third and four from the 12, Mahoney was flushed out of the pocket to his right but still found Derek Otis in the back of the end zone.
"We had them in third and longs and fourth and longs," said Muncy coach Scott McLean. "We have to play smarter. I don't know what to do to get our kids to understand the concentration factor. Until we do that, we're not going to be a very good football team."
Mahoney finished with 166 yards passing.
"We just knew we had to come out and play as a team and we played as a team," said Mahoney, who is also the team's safety. "Our lineman worked hard. We couldn’t have done that without anybody else on the field but we just worked hard. We worked as a team."
Muncy (2-2, 1-1 NTL) jumped out to an early lead as quarterback Kyle Hill and Eric Lehman hooked up for two first quarter touchdowns as the Indians held a 13-0 first quarter lead.
The defense also gave the Indians a boost with a big goal-line stand early in the second quarter. After getting a first down on a fourth-and-1, Wyalusing had a first and goal at the one. But the Rams didn't gain a yard, and a Preston Shipman tackle on Bryn Duffield on fourth down thwarted a great scoring opportunity for the visitors. Despite blowing the chance at what looked like sure points, Wyalusing went into halftime trailing by just a score, as Dan Howard caught a tipped pass in the end zone with 1:43 to play in the second quarter.
"We challenged them at halftime," said Otis. "We basically said that this game is anybody's game and whoever digs deep and wants it the most is going to get it. The defense played tough. We had some mental lapses and some communication breakdowns and that's what allowed them to have the big plays.
"The offense came up big when it needed to time after time. They just didn't lose their composure. They didn't give up. They just kept saying, 'Coach, we'll get it, we'll get it."
Muncy failed to generate much offense after the first quarter. The Indians failed on a fourth-down attempt early in the third and punted twice in the second half.
"You have to give Wyalusing credit. They deserved to win," said McLean. "After the first quarter, we just did not make any plays. It's that simple. We didn't make any plays."