WENDELL — Friday was a night of firsts for the Corinth Holders’ football program.
Not only were the Pirates playing their first game at the 3A level, they experienced their first overtime, their first come from behind victory and their first season-opening win as a varsity program.
And everything culminated on the first offensive play of overtime for the Pirates. A 10-yard quarterback draw by Cole Sakowski gave the Pirates a 32-26 triumph over visiting Northern Nash.
“I never would have thought that it would have been a quarterback draw that would have scored for us,” said Corinth Holders coach Barry Honeycutt. “Particularly against a team that plays the Power-I offense (and sees that play a lot).”
Sakowski’s run culminated a Pirate rally from a 26-13 third-quarter deficit.
After shooting itself in the foot most of the night, the Pirates displayed a toughness Honeycutt hopes will carry on throughout the season.
The Pirates turned the ball over five times with three of the turnovers leading to Knights’ scores.
Corinth Holders’ passing game took over in the second half. Sakowski teamed up with Hampton Smith for a 48-yard scoring strike to trim the lead to 26-20.
The Pirates tied the score at 26 when Sakowski found Tony Kirkwood for a 42-yard catch and run with eight minutes to play. Ki-yon Walden had set Corinth Holders up with an interception at midfield before the scoring drive.
The Pirates relied on their defense in the final eight minutes, turning back Northern Nash at the 10-yard-line with 1:18 left in regulation. And after fumbling at its own 30, Corinth Holders kept the Knights from advancing the ball.
The Pirates went on defense in overtime and pushed the Knights back to the 20-yard-line, holding on downs and setting up Sakowski’s game-winning run.
Sakowski was 13-of-24 on the night for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Butler Collins had an interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter for Corinth Holders.
The first Northern score after a Pirates turnover came on a 3-yard run by Jaquez Howington. The Knights took a 13-6 halftime lead on Kyree Clark’s 25-yard interception return.
After Collins’ 32-yard interception returned tied the score early in the third quarter, the Knights responded with Aaron Dew’s 96-yard kick off return for a touchdown.
The Knights pushed the lead to 26-13 after a Pirate fumble when 4-yard run by Dew to cap a 30-yard drive.