Perry Hall kicker Jason Bloom went from hero to potential goat to hero in yesterday's 38-37 double-overtime football victory over Baltimore County 3A-4A league rival and host Dundalk.
With 25 seconds left in regulation, the 15-year-old sophomore kicked a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at 25 and forced overtime. But with the game tied at 31 in the first extra session, he shanked his first extra-point attempt and it went wide right.
"I amazed myself by missing that one," said Bloom, who failed previously only when his attempts were blocked. "I was just hoping to get another chance."
Bloom connected on his second opportunity, after teammate Mark Franklin had countered Dundalk's touchdown with his second touchdown of the game, knotting the game at 37.
With the win, the Gators (7-1, 5-1) moved into a second-place tie with the Owls (6-2, 5-1) in the county league, one game behind No. 11 Woodlawn (7-1, 6-1).
"As far as I'm concerned, this is the best team we've played all year," said Perry Hall coach Joe Stoy, whose Gators also have beaten Woodlawn and No. 13 South River. "We had a real hard time stopping their run -- they came right at us with their three, very hard-running backs."
The game was tied 14-14 at halftime, but Dundalk led most of the way with John Satterfield (23 carries, 226 yards, three touchdowns), Eric Dilutis (10 carries, 104 yards) and Jason Wilcox (14 carries, 61 yards) running behind a line that averages 255 pounds.
The Gators, whose line averages 245, led just one other time -- 7-6 midway through the second quarter -- and trailed 25-14 with 7:45 left in regulation.
Dundalk got the ball first in the overtime series, which places the ball at the 10 and gives each team four downs to score.
Satterfield put the Owls up 31-25, scoring from 6 yards on Dundalk's second play, but quarterback Rich Venker was stopped on the conversion run attempt. For Perry Hall, Franklin scored from 1 yard away on fourth down before Bloom's miss left it tied at 31.
Satterfield ran nine yards to the 1 before Dilutis scored his second touchdown to make it 37-31. Wilcox was stopped at the 1 on the conversion.
It looked as if the Gators would lose after quarterback Ryan Burks tossed consecutive incompletions. But Dundalk's Damon Everett interfered with Mandel Marsh on a third-down pass, giving the Gators a first down half the distance to the goal. Franklin's touchdown run tied the game at 37 two plays later.
After a scoreless first period, Satterfield ran for two second-quarter touchdowns, including a 67-yarder, to give the Owls leads of 6-0 and 14-7.
Franklin had given the Gators their first lead, 7-6, by ending a nine-play, 61-yard drive with his 10-yard touchdown run, and Burks scored on a keeper with 14 seconds left in the first half.
Dundalk controlled most of the third period, with Satterfield sprinting 15 yards for a touchdown to end a 14-play, 79-yard drive. Venker's conversion run made it 22-14 with 1:44 left in the period, and Chris Demski's fourth-quarter, 34-yard field goal put the Gators deeper in the hole.
"We had been giving our best the whole day," said Satterfield, "and we thought we might have had them at that point."