With under two minutes to play in O’Bryant’s overtime win against Boston English on Friday night, the Tigers’ junior quarterback Ajani Alfred-McFall realized senior wide receiver Sam Martim was open on a pass play only after he failed to throw the ball to him.
“He saw that I was open so we just ran [the play] again and he just threw it,” Martim said of a 55-yard TD pass that tied the game at 14. “And I don’t even know what it was. I just wanted to win and ran in." I don’t know what it was. We weren’t playing with intensity at first.”
Perhaps one of the most amazing aspects of the play was the fact that the connection was Alfred-McFall’s first of the night. He was only 2 of 7 passing for the entire game after he came in at quarterback in the third quarter.
Starting quarterback, senior Christian Ransom ( 2 of 3 passing for 30 yards), played the rest of regulation at wide receiver before returning under center for the overtime period.
On the first play of the extra session Ransom rattled off 7-yards on a QB keeper. He got about 2 or 3 yards on the next play to set up junior running back Mehki Williams’ game-winning 1-yard TD run.
“It’s not even tough at all,” Ransom said of moving in and out of the quarterback position. “This is just the way we practice and it’s not tough at all. We’ve been doing it for three years now; from my first year here I switched in and out of quarterback and going in and out from quarterback to wide receiver. I mean, honestly, I think it’s just a way to keep the quarterback fresh and keep the receivers fresh and it’s a way to keep the defense off balance.
“It keeps them guessing and they never know what to do. It’s not difficult at all you just have to have a connection with the team.”
OB coach Kevin Gadson said he made the move at quarterback after some of his guys in the backfield got banged up during the game.
“We had some injuries, some guys dinged up, our running back was dinged up so we just kind of changed stuff up to get a better feel, a better tempo for the game,” he said.
“We needed some speed.”
The move resulted in a comeback victory that broke English’s two-game win streak.
“It always feels good to get a win but a comeback feels so much better, 10 times better,” Ransom said, “and it just feels great right now.”
After O’Bryant scored the game tying touchdown against Boston English with under two minutes to play on Friday, the Tigers lined up to kick the extra point. But when the snap to junior Joseph Farrell was high he had to improvise a 2-point conversion pass that ultimately went nowhere.
The play left a group of male students in the stands arguing whether the play was a fake or not. The students kept arguing almost until the beginning of overtime.
“We went for the extra kick, we’ve been kicking it all week,” Gadson said. “We were trying to kick the extra point and it was just a bad snap. It was supposed to be a kick and we just messed it up.”
Farrell said the snaps were perfect in practice all week.
“But the snap came over my head, it definitely wasn’t a fake," he said. "I yelled the audible call and the receivers were supposed to go out in the flats but I guess it was too loud in the stands for them to hear me so I tried to make a run for it.”
Farrell wasn’t worried that their chance to win the game went out the window with the high snap.
“No because the score was 14-14 so I was like it all comes down to our defense because our offense wasn’t really playing as well as we should so our defense was making plays,” he said. “I knew if our offense couldn’t do it our defense would definitely come up with a big play and that’s what happened in overtime.”
The Grace of God
Despite having a bad week of practice, Madison Park was able to pull out its third consecutive shutout on Friday afternoon by defeating Brighton, 34-0, and improving to 3-1 on the season.
The Cardinals coach, Roosevelt Robinson, said his squad was mad at each other all week in practice and never looked crisp. Fortunately, the ball bounced their way against Brighton, he said, and they had good field position all day.
“We got kind of lucky this week,” he said. "The ball kind of fell into our court. I have to say we got kind of lucky because of the Grace of God.”
But MP seems to have changed its tune already as the team gets ready to travel to Archbishop Williams (2-1) at 6 p.m. on Friday. Robinson said his team will practice on their own on Columbus Day (Monday) even though he told them to take the day off.
“The practices were terrible this week and all the coaches got a little frustrated but we hung in there and it fell to our favor this week,” Robinson said. “We just gotta get everyone on the same page and do what we need to do and have great practices.
”Because it seems like when we have great practices we always end up having a great game.”
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Zolan Kanno-Youngs -- A former captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School football team and a current second-year Ujima Scholar at Northeastern University, Kanno-Youngs is the color commentator of the mens basketball team and a writer for Northeastern's campus newspaper, the Huntington News. He joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at KannoYoungs.Globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @KannoYoungs.