Cameron Golden, a third-string quarterback, never even saw the fourth-down 63-yard touchdown pass he threw to Comer Norwood off a fake punt that allowed Wilde Lake to tie Howard with 1:22 left in regulation yesterday.
The No. 3-ranked Wildecats (2-1 overall, 2-0 league) eventually won the battle of defending co-county champions in overtime at Wilde Lake, 20-14. It was the No. 14-ranked Lions' first loss.
It was Golden's's first varsity pass, and he only got the chance because starting quarterback and punter Charles Berlin is sidelined with mononucleosis, and Golden is also the second-string punter.
"I didn't even see him [Norwood]," Golden said. "I just threw the ball. It was luck, I guess. I was just hoping it got there. I thought it was picked off. I got hit, and when I got up, I saw Comer running for a touchdown."
Norwood had to come back for the wobbly pass. Wilde Lake needed eight yards for a first down, and would have had it, but Norwood gave them much more, somehow evading three or four tacklers and racing down the right sideline.
"I got a great block from No. 11 [Grant Herdrich]," Norwood said. "That did it all. I just ran up on his back. The cornerback wasn't paying attention and I just did what I had to do."
Two weeks ago against Randallstown in a similar fake-punt situation in nearly the identical spot on the field, Norwood had dropped a perfectly thrown pass that contributed to Wilde Lake's loss.
"Some you drop; some you catch," Norwood said.
Wilde Lake won the coin toss in overtime and forced Howard to play offense first, each team getting four downs to score from the 10-yard line. Howard fumbled on first down but recovered, threw an incomplete pass on second down, was sacked on third down and threw another incomplete pass on fourth down.
Wilde Lake's Mario Merrills scored on a 3-yard run on third down to win it. Merrills, who will attend Maryland, rushed 28 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns, most of the yards in the first half.
Howard scored on its first possession on a 64-yard drive, highlighted by Travis Irving's 36-yard pass reception. The extra-point kick failed.
A 15-yard Howard punt set up Wilde Lake's first touchdown. The Wildecats went ahead 7-6 with 3:58 left in the first half on a 4-yard run by Merrills.
A great defensive stand by Howard following a bad punt snap that gave Wilde Lake possession at Howard's 18-yard line highlighted Howard's third quarter.
Howard (2-1, 1-1) scored again with 4:06 left in the game on a 4-yard run by Gerrick McPhearson.