GREENCASTLE -- As Nick Hutcheson hauled in the tying touchdown pass with less than three minutes to play, it looked as if Greencastle would give the fans something to celebrate on homecoming night.
All the Tiger Cubs needed was the extra point, and they would take their first -- and likely decisive -- lead of the night over visiting Cascade. But the point after attempt was blocked, and the teams remained deadlocked at 13. Greencastle's defense would hold on the next possession and force overtime.
Cascade started overtime on offense first from the 10-yard-line, and punched it in on the ground. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed, and Cascade led 19-13. Greencastle nearly knotted it up with another Hutcheson acrobatic grab on third down, but this time the receiver couldn't come down with it after sustaining a hit in the back of the end zone.
On fourth down, quarterback Tanner Parker rolled to his right, but his receiver was blanketed, forcing him to make a desperate lunge for the goal line. He was stopped short, sealing Cascade's 19-13 win.
Instead of what promised to be a rousing home win and jubilant celebration just minutes earlier, Greencastle, now 3-5, saw its players dejectedly walk to the locker room while coach Eric Davis felt they had let another one get away.
"I think if you look at this game from a statistical standpoint, we controlled a large part of it," Davis said. But, it's like I tell our kids all the time, if you make mistakes you're going to get beat. And that's what happened tonight."
Those mistakes came mostly in the first half, beginning with a costly interception in the end zone in the first quarter. After putting together a long drive, Greencastle was inside Cascade's 10 but a bobbled pass ended up in the wrong hands. Another turnover ended a drive later in the second.
"There were situations all night where we just didn't capitalize," Davis said.
But perhaps the most costly miscues of the night came on the defensive side of the ball. On both Cascade scoring drives, the Cadets converted a fourth-and-short not on the ground or through the air, but rather with the aid of an official's yellow flag: they drew Tiger Cub defenders offsides on both occasions.
"Before one of those, we were even yelling on the sideline to watch the ball," Davis said. "But when it comes down to it, players have to make plays."
At least one player for Greencastle, however, did just that. Jesse Vermillion played like a monster on both sides of the ball in leading the Tiger Cubs in rushing yards (145) and tackles (11). He keyed the tying touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, as Davis rode his powerful legs all the way to the goal line.
"Jesse played very hard tonight," Davis said. "He's our workhorse. He just makes plays when we need him to, and that's all you can ask."
Cascade 0 7 0 6 6 -- 19
Greencastle 0 0 7 6 0 -- 13