C.B. West knocks off Norristown in overtime

DOYLESTOWN >> They had been District One’s proudest football program, the elitist of the elite.

Then, in the wake of last season’s hazing scandal that cancelled their season, the Bucks of Central Bucks West had gone from proud to punchline.

So when they gathered this year under new head coach Chas Cathers, the Bucks were no longer in a position to continue a winning tradition. They, instead, were charged with scraping the dirt off the old one.

Through three tough losses to open this season, West was considered not ready for prime time, and the jokes were still flying.

So when placekicker Kenny Doak drilled the 32-yard field goal in overtime that gave the Bucks an improbable 31-28 win over Norristown Friday night, if the celebration was a bit over the top, it was perfectly understandable.

“We just wanted to get back on the field this year and get into some games and get the program going in the right direction,” said quarterback Eddie Shields after the bedlam had finally subsided. “It’s an incredible feeling.”

“These kids deserved this win,” Cathers said. “They’ve battled every week, and they’ve finished strong in every game we’ve played.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

And while the Bucks were dancing, the Eagles were looking toward the skies, wondering what happened in the final frantic minute of regulation.

With quarterback Diavante Lloyd out for the year with a torn ACL suffered in last week’s loss to Plymouth Whitemarsh, and with proven playmakers Derik Cross and Jahleel Ray injured during last night’s game, the Eagles turned to speedster Khalif Sinclair to make a difference.

And make a difference he did.

Down 7-0 at halftime, the Eagles were looking for any spark they could find to light the flame that would get them back in the game. And Sinclair not only provided that spark, he nearly burned the Bucks single-handed.

It began early in the third quarter when Sinclair grabbed a Bucks punt and blew past everyone for a 90-yard touchdown.

Seconds later, the Bucks fumbled away the ensuing kickoff and after Norristown’s Mason Hall recovered on the West 15, Sinclair got outside and got the ball to the 1-yard line, from where Shannon Carnard finished the drive to give the Eagles their first lead.

But that score was the trigger for a wild finish that had to be seen to be believed.

Not to be outdone, Shields found Kevin O’Hanlon on a 56-yard pass play that re-tied the game late in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was one for the books.

Norristown drew first blood when quarterback Desmond Gorski threw a simple out to Sinclair, who beat no fewer than four West defenders, including three with one incredible juke, and blistered 77 yards to put Norristown in front with 4:00 left.

West came right back, going 70 yards on five plays, the final one a Shields pass on the money to O’Hanlon to tie the game with 2:12 left.

Not to be outdone, Norristown came right back down the field with Gorski finding Carnard out of the backfield four times for 80 yards, moving the ball to the West 1-yard line.

Sinclair scored from there, and with 58 seconds left, the Eagles had what appeared to be the game-winning score.

But the Bucks had other ideas.

On just the third play from scrimmage following the Norristown touchdown, Shields found Kyle Taylor all alone behind the Eagles defense, and 68 yards later, the game was tied.

“I expected to be open,” Taylor said. “When we block that play right, I’m usually open, and our line blocked great for us all night.”

“They ran a curl off the wheel route,” said Norristown head coach Jason Powel. “We were able to put some things together in the second half, we just fell short at the end.”

“We know we have a tough schedule in our league,” Shields said, “Now we have to come out next week and work just as hard.”

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