by Bill Turner
Hidden Valley battled back from a 27-7 second quarter deficit with 20 unanswered points, as the Titans knocked off Cave Spring 41-39 in double overtime at Dwight Bogle Stadium Friday night.
Hidden Valley looked to be headed for a long night when Cave Spring quarterback Tony Simmons scored on keepers from 45 and 9 yards out to stake the Knights to a quick 12-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
Although Hidden Valley cut the deficit to 12-7 late in the first on a Michael Simonic 28-yard run and Landon Dermott point after, Cave Spring responded with a Simmons 77-yard scamper to up the advantage to 19-7 early in the second quarter.
On the subsequent kickoff, things only got worse for the Titans when the kick was mishandled resulting in a Cave Spring safety. The Knights followed the free kick with a 48-yard lightning bolt by running back Sam Wright, his 29th touchdown of the season. In a matter of 1:27, Cave Spring had jumped to a 27-7 lead and was looking for the knockout punch.
Hidden Valley, however, produced the unlikliest of turnarounds. Titan wide receiver Dee Fletcher brought in a 26-yard touchdown toss from Simonic late in the second quarter that sent the teams to the locker room with Cave Spring still looking comfortable, up 27-14.
The second half belonged to Hidden Valley as Cave Spring kept itself in bad field position with problems in the kicking game and untimely penalties. Shane Foley caught a 16-yard touchdown strike from Simonic to get Hidden Valley within striking distance heading to the final frame. Simonic plowed through the line from one yard out late in the fourth, but a missed PAT left the teams tied at 27, and heading to overtime.
Both teams scored in the first overtime, and both followed their respective touchdowns by having their extra point attempts blocked. The Hidden Valley offense took to the field first in the second overtime, and Simonic threw to a wide open Foley from 6-yards out. Hidden Valley opted for a two-point conversion with Simonic finding an equally open Fletcher in the right side of the end zone.
Cave Spring scored on its turn in the second OT, with Simmons finding the end zone from two yards out, his fifth TD of the contest. The prospect of a third extra period ended when Simmons was stopped inches short on the requisite 2-point attempt.
Cave Spring piled up a huge 371-83 advantage in rushing yards with Wright picking up 189 on 30 carries, and Simmons accounting for 190 on 20 quarterback keepers. Mason Dermott led the Hidden Valley ground attack with 74 yards on 11 carries. Wright surpassed the 2,000-yard rushing mark for the season late in the first half.
The Titans controlled the airways, 150-0, with Simonic connecting on 12-of-24 attempts. Jake Kite and Foley each had 3 catches for 49 and 48 yards respectively.
Hidden Valley (6-4) opens regional play this Friday as the Bassett Bengals visit Bogle Stadium for a rematch of a week-five contest won by the Titans 28-21. Cave Spring (7-3) has a first-round bye before returning to action next week.