Bishop Luers' Jordan Presley breaks through Homestead's defense for a long touchdown run during the third quarter Friday night. (Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette)
Saturday, September 01, 2018 1:00 am
High School Football: Week 3
Novice kicker's heroics lift Luers
Knights rally after giving up lead to Spartans
MARK SCHUTTE | For The Journal Gazette
Carter Drake got to the live the dream every kicker has – kicking the game-winning field goal as time expires. It's a dream Drake has had all of his ... well, actually he's never had that dream.
In fact, he has really only been kicking for real since the end of July when football practice began.
Drake, a junior at Bishop Luers, spent his previous years booting soccer balls and decided to join the Knights' football team this year, “Just trying to have some fun, remember high school more.”
Now he has a memory of a lifetime.
Drake drilled a 29-yard field goal as time ran out to give Luers a 38-36 victory over previously unbeaten Homestead on Friday night, setting off a wild celebration that started on the Luersfield turf and continued into the Knights' locker room.
“That was just a great drive down the field,” Drake explained. “I couldn't have hit the field goal without getting that close. It was just a great drive and we showed some heart after that comeback they had.
“I've just been doing it in practice since July 31. I could hit it and I just had to be confident in myself. Same routine every time, the same kick. Just hit it through the uprights and we win.”
It was hardly that simple.
The Knights (2-1) got three touchdowns from Jordan Presley, who rushed for 120 yards on 18 carries, and two from Jamic Johnson to build a 35-17 lead on the Spartans. Quarterback Norm Knapke threw for three of those touchdowns and completed 16 of 23 passes for 288 yards.
But the Spartans (2-1) rallied, just as they did last week from a 20-3 deficit against Concordia for a 29-27 win.
This time is was senior quarterback Jake Archbold who led the rally, driving his team on three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Braeden Hardwick scored the first TD in the comeback, set up by two Archbold passes to Trevin Taylor of 40 and 26 yards.
Archbold then used his legs for the next two scores, rushing for two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score that made it 36-35 with 2:34 to play.
On the night, Archbold carried 17 times for 118 yards and completed 18 of 27 passes for 260 yards.
But the Knights were left with plenty of time to set up Drake's dramatics. Starting at their 32, Knapke calmly led a two-minute drill with six completions, and Presley ran twice to the 12 to give Drake a good line on the game-winner.
With the both sides anxiously watching, coach Kyle Lindsay looked at his kicker and saw a little smile.
Presley saw the same thing.
“He had a smirk,” Presley said. “I didn't want to say anything to him to make him nervous or anything. But I had confidence in him. I 100 percent knew he was going to make it.”
“They have the heart of a champion,” Lindsay said. “We were literally down to the last available guys that could play varsity football and we had to grit it out against a team that had done this same thing a week ago.
“I guess it wouldn't have been right if we just ran away with it in the fourth quarter there. They really tested our mettle and I'm really proud of them.”