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Raiders can't shake Bison, lose 30-29 in a thriller


HIGH POINT  In the aftermath, players from both T. Wingate Andrews and High Point Central could be seen dropping to the turf in disbelief.
     The Bison recovered far more quickly, no doubt energized by the site of the dogpile forming in front of the Central bench.
     Chris Ilderton, Evan Aguilar and An­tonio Sansbury combined to bring down Tony Washington 2 yards from the goal line Saturday night on the game’s final play: a two-point conversion run for the victory. When the Bison players crashed into the athletic Red Raider for the tack­le along the Andrews sideline, Central owned a thrilling 30-29 win.
     The one-point decision marked the fourth in the series, which the Raid­ers now lead only 23-15 after the Bison claimed their 10th win in the last 13 meetings.
     “We were going to block that kick and then we saw they came out in trips (three receivers lined up wide to the right),” Ilderton explained. “We called our defense and it’s a good thing every­body recognized it. Thank God it’s over. It feels awesome because I’m a senior. It’s one of the most emotional games of my life. This is probably one of the best games I’ll ever play in.”
     And one of the worst for Andrews. The Raiders (1-2) owned a 15-7 halftime lead and appeared in control after Washing­ton’s 82-yard kickoff return made it 23­14 late in the third quarter. Remarkably, Central (2-3) stormed back to lead 30-23 at the 1:18 mark.
     Raider quarterback Jordan Reid hit Cameron Neal in the end zone from 18 yards out on the final play of regulation. Andrews coach Rodney McKoy initially sent out female soccer standout Court­ney Dameron for the PAT – she already was 1-for-1 and later stood by while the Raiders ran a successful fake for two.
     Following a Central timeout, though, Washington lined up in the shotgun, took the snap and raced for the right cor­ner behind all those teammates.
     “The kids wanted to go for the win. I made the ultimate decision, but I still think we made the right decision to go for the win,” McKoy offered. “We just didn’t block the play clean.”
     Central coach Wayne Jones called the timeout to remind his players of the ear­lier fake.  “Andrews has got good athletes, we’ve got good athletes,” he said. “It’s just whoever makes that last play. Our guys stepped up and did a great job of stop­ping them there.”
     And in doing so, left the Raiders ago­nizing over what might have been “We played our hearts out the whole game,” Neal said after taking a long mo­ment to compose himself. “We just came up short. We tried. We tried. We just couldn’t finish.”

Courtesy of: Steve Hanf, High Point Enterprise

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