By DAVE WOODALL
Tammany West Sports
The Northlake Christian Wolverines put themselves in the driver’s seat in District 7-2A football by knocking off the league-leading Falcons of St. Thomas Aquinas 14-13 in overtime.
Northlake’s Gary Sampson tipped away a two-point conversion attempt by the Falcons on the final play of overtime to salvage the win Friday night, October 18, at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.
STA opened the scoring with 1:58 left in the first quarter on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Falcon quarterback Dillon Lee to Luke Bleakley. The PAT was good giving the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
At 11:12 of the second quarter STA fumbled on their own 10-yard line setting the Wolverines up for an easy score.
That score came on a six-yard run by Taylor Mussachia to tie it at 7-7.
Neither team could score again in the first half and both were shut out in the second half.
Northlake had an opportunity to win it late in the game when Wolverines defensive back Miguel Black stripped Falcons running back James Cox and returned it 80 yards for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown.
But as the Northlake players on the sideline were celebrating, an official threw a flag saying one of those players made contact with him during the play nullifying the score and putting it into overtime.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 14-7 lead as Taylor Mussachia scored from three yards out.
The Falcons failed to move the ball on their next possession and were forced into a fourth down.
STA launched a desperation pass and were rewarded with an interference penalty on Mussachia who was playing cornerback.
The Falcons took advantage of the gift.
Lee hit Bleakley for his second touchdown of the night on an eight-yard score that cut the lead to 14-13.
STA went for two, but Sampson got a finger on a diving attempt to ice the win for the Wolverines.
The Falcon defense held the Wolverines to only 200 yards of total defense.
They also held NCS’s outstanding quarterback Josh O’Rear to a season-low 27 yards passing and three interceptions and 52 yards on the ground.
Mussachia scored both of the Wolverine touchdowns and rushed for 87 yards on 23 carries.
James Cox had 128 yards on 16 carries for the Falcons and Ralph Haynes had 102 yards on 16 carries.
Northlake (7-0, 4-0) now has a one-game lead over Aquinas (5-2, 3-1) with only three games to play.
Hannan (6-1, 3-1), which defeated Springfield 45-21, on Friday, is waiting in the wings for their shot at the title.
The Wolverines will host the Hawks next Friday, October 25.