UPIKE loses overtime heartbreaker in opener

Published 1:07 pm Friday, August 24, 2018

PIKEVILLE — UPIKE football’s season got started on a sour note Thursday, losing its season opener to Keiser in overtime, 24-17.

The Seahawks sent the game to overtime after a 19-yard touchdown pass from Eli Mathews to Jaylen Arnold, which tied the game at 17 with just over a minute to go.

Mathews threw for 54 of his 134 total yards in the game on that final drive. Overall, Mathews went 16-for-28 on the day for 136 yards with the one touchdown and two interceptions.

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Both of Keiser’s interceptions came in the first half when Taeron Brown caught two wayward passes, but Brown was unable to continue his stellar game because of injury.

Keiser went all-out with the risks in overtime, converting all three fourth-down chances in the extra period, the last of which came when Marques Burgess punched it in from one yard out.

Burgess was a pain in the Bears’ side all night, tallying 100 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

After a quiet first half on the scoreboard, Keiser kicked a 32-yard field goal to tie the game at three. Pikeville started the scoring in the second quarter with a 33-yard field goal from Zaniel Phillips.

Pikeville had multiple opportunities earlier in the game, but William Chandler missed a pair of field goals in the first half.

The Bears took the lead again in the third quarter after Xondre Willis bounced off tacklers in the backfield and reversed field to take it 49 yards to the house. Willis had a stellar game, taking 20 carries for 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

His second touchdown came on a six-yard romp to retake the lead with just under six minutes to go, before Keiser’s late comeback.

​​​​​​​Pikeville will try to rebound next Thursday when it faces Livingstone with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hambley Athletic Complex.