ALBANY — Jewel Sumner played keep-away in the second half of its District 8-3A contest at Albany, allowing the Cowboys to rally for a 28-14 win.
Sumner (5-0, 2-0) trailed 14-13 at halftime but picked up second half scores on the ground and in the air. The Cowboys possessed the ball for almost 20 minutes in the second half as they took control.
Albany (3-2, 1-1) was led by quarterback JJ Doherty, who threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Both of the scores came in the first half.
How it was won
Doherty’s 13-yard run gave Albany a 14-7 lead with 3:33 left in the first half. The Cowboys took advantage of a short kickoff to move 47 yards for their second score, a 4-yard touchdown run by Brandon Self with 19 seconds left.
Sumner opened the third quarter with a five-minute, 63-yard touchdown drive. The Cowboys came right back as Trea Miller intercepted Doherty on Albany’s first play following the kickoff. The Cowboys chewed up five more minutes of clock, then forced an Albany three-and-out. Sumner opened the fourth quarter with yet another five-minute scoring drive, this one capped by Maleke Evans’ 6-yard run.
Albany picked up one first down on its ensuing possession before fumbling away the ball and effectively its chances to win the game.
Player of the game
Brandon Self, Sumner
Self rushed two times for 141 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes, including a 9-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion.
Albany coach Mike Janis: "We didn’t a good job in the kicking game. We made our extra points but our kickoffs were struggling. We gave them really good field position, and they had the ball for maybe 20 minutes in the second half. We battled but they continued to just wear us out. Hats off to them.
Sumner coach Ross Currier: "We knew it was going to be a tough game. (Doherty) is a great quarterback, and to come over here and get the win — it's a huge victory. They led 14-13 at halftime and I (had) told the kids all week its going to be a battle. We didn’t give them the ball that much in the second half, and our defense stepped up. I couldn’t be more prouder of the guys."
Sumner trailed 14-13 at halftime but squandered two scoring chances. Early in the second quarter, the Cowboys drove 42 yards to a first down at the AHS 11. On fourth down, a bad snap thwarted Andres Moreno’s 28-yard field goal try. With less than a minute to go in the half, Sumner scored to pull within a point of Albany. Again, a bad snap kept Moreno from getting off his kick on the extra point try, and Albany led at the break.
Sumner’s defense came into the game riding a streak of eight consecutive scoreless quarters. After forcing an Albany turnover on the game’s opening drive, the Cowboys saw their scoreless run end when Doherty’s pass to Seth McSpadden was good for 26 yards and a touchdown with 1:54 left in the first quarter.