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Football Escapes in OT on the Leg of Alex Hardy

Football Escapes in OT on the Leg of Alex Hardy

By Mike DeVader, Reinhardt Director of Athletic Communications & Media
 
WALESKA, Ga. â€" Alex Hardy sent the 10th-ranked Eagles to victory in overtime with a 27-yard field goal to seal the deal against the Bears of Pikeville (Ky.) Saturday afternoon at home.
 
The hard-fought victory moved Reinhardt to 2-0 on the young season after the squad came off a bye week knowing it would be in for a battle.
 
"Super proud of our kids because they had a never-quit, never-die attitude," head coach James Miller said. "They fought every snap all the way to the end. We found a way to be victorious… Hats off to Pikeville, they have a really good football team and I thought both teams played extremely hard. Just super proud of the way we competed. We held a really good offense to 17 points. Credit goes to all three levels of that defense; our coaching staff made up a great game plan and the effort on that side of the ball.
 
Offensively, we got better as the game went. I thought we really leaned on them in the second half. We had some really good drives and made a couple plays in the air, finally. Laquan Scott had a huge play on special teams with the blocked field-goal… Then, our kicker showed up when it mattered the most â€" Alex Hardy. I love this football team and I love what they're all about."
 
Pikeville was able to take an early lead mid-first quarter on a field goal from 23 yards out, and then the counterpart â€" Hardy â€" nailed an attempt from 36 yards away in the second quarter to tie the score. A few minutes later, however, the Bears re-took the lead on a 35-yard touchdown pass that was hauled in over the shoulder with 7:46 remaining before halftime.
 
The break would come and go with the score still 10-3 Pikeville, but the Eagles soared quickly out of the locker room with a just over two-minute drive of their own capped off by a 35-yard score through the air by Terry Berdin.
 
Billy Hall would then follow up that touchdown toss with a 12-yard scamper of his own to give Reinhardt its first lead of the game at 17-10 with just under 13 minutes left in the game. The defense â€" which had held down Pikeville for most of the outing â€" got the ball back to the offense, but the Eagles had to punt; pinning the Bears deep in their own end at the 3-yard-line.
 
Pikeville picked up a huge third-down conversion inside its own 10-yard-line with a run of 28 yards by Xondre Willis. That play kept the series alive for the Bears â€" who would eventually find Arties Clark high in the sky for a 27-yard touchdown reception with just 22 seconds left. The visitors, who wanted to go for two points and the win, had to kick the PAT after an illegal substitution.
 
Hall and company were able to get down the field quickly for a potential winning field goal, but time ran out on the hometown team after Quant Williams was unable to hit the ground before time ran out on the scoreboard at the Pikeville 14-yard-line.
 
Reinhardt won the toss and deferred to play defense in overtime, and immediately put the Bears behind the sticks after a four-yard-loss on the opening play of extra football. Pikeville eventually got the third-and-manageable, but Laquan Scott got a hand on the field goal attempt â€" knocking it down.
 
The Eagles were able to tally one first down before setting the stage for Hardy, and he delivered the winning kick.
 
Reinhardt ran for 267 yards on the ground and was guided by 102 from Hall (126 yards passing as well). Trevae Cain also added 73 yards rushing in the win.
 
Sebastian LeGarra was out-front in tackles with seven total, while a slew of Eagles had a half-dozen.
 
Hardy was 2-for-2 on kicks.
 
The team now hits the road for the first of four-consecutive contests away from Waleska beginning next week at Campbellsville (Ky.) at 1:30 p.m.
 
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