GREENVILLE — Sydney collapsed in the fourth quarter of a Miami Valley League crossover game against Greenville on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field.
But the Yellow Jackets got back up in overtime.
The squad gave up four consecutive touchdowns in an about eight-minute span and found themselves down seven points after having been up by 21.
But Sidney retook the lead in double overtime and stopped Greenville on a two-point conversion attempt to earn a 49-48 victory.
“We had a moment or two there where we could have folded, let them take the win,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said shortly after the team’s players hoisted the Little Brown Jug for the third consecutive year. “I’m glad that we were able to put something together there in both overtimes and squeak out a win.”
It was a wild one between MVL rivals, though it looked nearly over early in the fourth quarter.
Sidney led 35-14 after Jy Foster-Wheeler scored on a 44-yard touchdown run with 11:09 left in the fourth quarter.
But Greenville scored three touchdowns to force overtime, then star running back Brock Short scored on a 2-yard run in the first overtime to give the squad a 42-35 lead.
Sidney senior running back Martez Harris covered 20 yards on two carries and scored on an 11-yard run to even the score at 42-42 and force a second overtime.
The Yellow Jackets (1-2, 1-1 MVL Valley Division) got the ball first in the second overtime and again fed Harris, who scored on a 2-yard run to give the squad a 49-42 lead.
Greenville quarterback Evan Manix, who made the Yellow Jackets pay on scrambles on third- and fourth-down situations late in the game, made it a one-point game.
He scrambled left toward the visitor’s sideline and threw up an 8-yard pass that tight end Casey Willis came down with in the back of the end zone to close the gap to 49-48.
The Green Wave called a timeout and opted to go for a two-point conversion. Short took the snap in a Wildcat formation and ran right but was stopped by Sidney senior linebacker Myles Vordemark.
“He’s a tremendous player and a threat to throw the ball,” Doenges said of Short. “It’s an issue. We couldn’t just overplay the run. I think they had a couple of different options for him to throw it, I’m not sure.
“We needed to come up with a play, and we did. It was a gutsy call and I think the right call on their part. Somebody needed to do it at some point to get this game over with. I thought we were in good shape. Our kids weren’t cramping up, we could continue to keep taking this into more overtimes if we had to. I’m glad we were able to come out on the right end.”
Sidney started 0-2 last season and got a spark with a Week 3 win over the Green Wave. It was a close win last season as well; the Yellow Jackets scored two TDs in the fourth quarter to win 28-14.
The win proved to be a jump-starting point in the team’s MVL Valley Division title race. Doenges is hoping Friday’s win can serve as a spark going forward this season.
“We could have played a cleaner game, but I’m happy with how the kids responded. It was a big challenge for our kids, and they met it,” Doenges said. “We’ve got a big challenge next week when we go back on the road to Vandalia, so we’ll learn from this and try to meet that challenge.
The Yellow Jackets led 14-7 at halftime and quickly extended the lead in the third quarter.
Greenville went three-and-out to start the second half, and Sidney drove on scored on a 9-yard touchdown run by Jy Foster-Wheeler with 6:37 left to take a 21-7 lead.
The Green Wave quickly punted again, and Sidney got the ball near midfield. Julius Spradling broke free on a 25-yard run to move the ball to the 2-yard line, and Isaiah Foster ran in on the next play to boost the lead to 28-7.
Manix scored on a 3-yard run with 1:12 left to cut the gap to 14 points, but Foster-Wheeler broke free on a 44-yard run in the first minute of the fourth to boost the lead to 35-14.
But the Green Wave battled back.
“Weird things happen when you come over here,” Doenges said. “It’s something we’ve had happened in a lot of sports. Maybe we buy into that allure too much. We (the football program) have had some weird things happen to us here in the last 10-15 years. You never know what you’re going to get here in Darke County.”
The weird thing in the last eight minutes on Friday was Manix’s ability to break free on late down situations and find a way to score.
On a third down, Manix dodged a near-sack by Vordemark, scrambled and ran 25 yards for a touchdown with 7:54 left to cut the gap to 35-21.
Greenville then recovered an onside kick at Sidney’s 30, and Manix soon after threw a 25-yard TD pass to Nolan Ellis on a third down. Sidney blocked the extra-point attempt, which kept the gap at 35-27 with 6:01 left.
The Yellow Jackets got the ball back after another onside attempt went out of bounds. Sidney went three-and-out and punted.
Greenville drove and faced a fourth-down-and-four at Sidney’s 22 with 1:32 left.
Manix again worked his magic. He rolled right, then took off after a block. He broke out of a tackle by Vordemark and Rylee Vestal at the 22, then raced through Sidney’s secondary for a TD with 1:23 left.
Manix then tied it himself on a two-point conversion try. He fumbled the snap but ran back to the 10 and picked up the ball, then scrambled right and fired a pass to Ellis, who caught it along the right sideline in the end zone to tie it.
“They gave us some stuff in the first half that we had issues with, but I thought we came up with some adjustments at halftime,” Doenges said. “They came up with a couple of different things in the second half to try and give us fits. We’re playing our defense a little differently and are still trying to figure out some formations.
“But at the end of the day, their kids continued to play hard, and they made some plays on us.”
Sidney went three-and-out and punted to Greenville’s 12 with 55 seconds left. The Green Wave couldn’t get out of their own territory before the end of regulation.
Harris got Sidney’s offense going again in the overtimes, and the squad battled back to earn the Little Brown Jug.
“At the end of the day, our kids persevered,” Doenges said.
Harris finished with 69 rushing yards and two TDs on 11 carries. Sophomore Isaiah Foster led the squad with 82 rushing yards on 15 carries and scored two TDs.
Foster-Wheeler finished with 68 rushing yards and two TDs on seven carries, and Spradling finished with 50 rushing yards on two carries.
Sidney finished with 271 rushing yards on 39 carries. It was a breakout performance for the squad’s rushing attack, which gained less than 230 yards in the first two games.
“Martez is coming back from an injury to his thigh and looked pretty strong, and I think it helps since they were sharing carries,” Doenges said. “All those guys are going to continue to get carries.
“I thought we had strong kids at the running back position going into overtime, and Martez did a great job.”
Senior receiver Sam Reynolds caught eight passes for 147 yards. He also played heavily at defensive back and ripped away a pass for an interception in addition to making 2.5 tackles.
Junior quarterback Tucker Herron completed 13-of-24 passes for 168 yards with two interceptions.
Sidney finished with 439 yards of offense while Greenville finished with 418.
Manix completed 10-of-14 passes for 96 yards with three TDs and one interception. He ran for 38 yards and two TDs on 13 carries. Short ran for 243 yards and two TDs on 26 carries.
Sidney received the opening kickoff and drove inside the 10 but turned the ball over on downs with 5:02 left. The Yellow Jackets forced a three-and-out and fielded the punt at midfield, but Herron had a pass intercepted with 1:35 left.
Greenville returned the interception to the 29. Short scored on a 5-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the second quarter to give the Green Wave a 7-0 lead with 11:54 left.
Sophomore Tank Fleming returned the ensuing kickoff about 90 yards for a touchdown to quickly tie it 7-7. The Green Wave then turned the ball over on downs at midfield, and Sidney drove and scored when Foster ran in from 3 yards out with 6:36 left. Joey Flynn kicked the extra point to give the Yellow Jackets a 14-7 lead.
The teams then traded punts. Greenville drove into Sidney territory, but Reynolds ripped a pass away from a Greenville receiver near the end zone to give Sidney the ball back.
The Yellow Jackets drove into Greenville territory in the final seconds, but Herron had a tipped pass intercepted with about 10 seconds left.
Sidney is scheduled to travel to Vandalia-Butler for an MVL game next Friday.
Sidney junior running back Martez Harris, left, celebrates with senior receiver Sam Reynolds after Harris scored the go-ahead touchdown in double overtime of a 49-48 win over Greenville on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field. Harris scored touchdowns in both overtimes.
Sidney senior linebacker Myles Vordemark celebrates after the squad stopped Greenville on a two-point conversion in double overtime on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field. Vordemark tackled Greenville’s Brock Short on the two-point conversion try to secure the win.
Sidney senior running back Martez Harris, left, celebrates with junior lineman Ray Lewis after scoring a touchdown in the first overtime of a 49-48 victory over Greenville on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field. Harris finished with 69 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Greenville junior quarterback Evan Manix runs as Sidney’s Rylee Vestal pursues during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field.
Sidney senior Jy Foster-Wheeler runs during a 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of a Miami Valley League crossover game on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field.
Sidney junior receiver Julius Spradling, right, runs while fending off Greenville’s Ryan Crampton during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field.
Sidney senior receiver Sam Reynolds runs as Greenville’s Nolan Ellis closes in during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field.
Sidney senior running back Martez Harris, right, runs with pressure from Greenville’s Cody Sagraves during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field.
Sidney players celebrate with the Little Brown Jug following a 49-48 double overtime victory over Greenville on Friday at Good Samaritan Stadium at Harmon Field. The Yellow Jackets lost a 21-point lead in the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter but rallied to take the lead in double overtime and stopped a two-point conversion attempt by the Green Wave to earn the win.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.