South Spencer was close to the end zone multiple times in regulation, even having two scoring plays negated due to penalties. A third play midway through the fourth quarter resulted in a fumble into the end zone.
The Rebels weren’t denied in overtime Friday night in a Class 2A Sectional 32 game at Sullivan, with senior running back Denver Burden running 10 yards to give his team a 6-0 victory. Burden ran 17 times for 96 yards.
Sullivan was in Rebel territory plenty of times, seeming to hit a wall near the red zone.
With some quality Payne Fortner passing and time management, the Golden Arrows marched the ball down to the Rebels’ 11-yard line, spiking the ball with 1.7 seconds left. But kicker Kynon Johnson’s field goal attempt sailed wide left over the goal posts.
“Just a little bit left. He put a good leg on that ball and it just missed,” Sullivan coach Trent Olson said.
In overtime, Sullivan receiver Marcus Ridge made a 7-yard reception — his seventh catch of the game — to get the Golden Arrows down to the 3-yard line. Brooks Weszely couldn’t run it in, and Fortner threw incomplete, setting up Johnson for a 20-yard field goal attempt. It also missed wide left.
Sullivan had several drives stall due to fumbles, including a tough one by Ridge, who finished with 66 yards receiving.
The Arrows were without starting tight end Jake Kinnaman, and Ridge picked up more offensive snaps as the Arrows adjusted their offensive game plan.
“[Ridge] came up big for us. He really stepped up,” Olson said.
Sullivan was held to 38 yards rushing on 24 carries. South Spencer Alex Nelson, a 280-pound nose tackle, stopped Sullivan from doing much of anything in the middle of the field, Olson said. “He just gave us fits in the interior and their defensive ends were able to run free and create problems for us,” Olson said.
The Sullivan defense came up big when it needed to throughout all four quarters of regulation for the Golden Arrows, who were trying for their first sectional football victory since 2005 when athletic director Otto Clements was still head coach.
Fortner threw for 244 yards for the Golden Arrows. Michael Willis caught seven passes for 86 yards.
Sullivan finished its season 6-4.
South Spencer 0 0 0 0 6 — 6
Sullivan 0 0 0 0 0 — 0
SS — Denver Burden 10 run (no attempt), OT
Next — South Spencer (3-6) hosts Forest Park next Friday. Sullivan finished 6-4.