Classic Comeback: Football Surges Past Perkiomen in OT

Friday, October 4, 2019
Stephen Rice ’21

Trailing 28-6 with a little over four minutes left in the third quarter, Mercersburg rallied to defeat the host Perkiomen School in overtime, 34-28, in a contest that warrants “instant classic” status. 

Campbell Prentiss ’20 hit Aiden Nelson ’23 for a 9-yard touchdown with 55 seconds to play in regulation to tie the score at 28-28, Stephen Rice ’21 intercepted a pass to send the game to overtime, and Damien Mahanama ’20 scored on a 5-yard TD run in the extra period to help the Blue Storm improve to 3-1 and avenge its only loss of the year.

“I told the guys this would be a battle, that every play would count,” said Mercersburg head coach Andy Brown. “I’m so proud of the way they stayed in the game and worked to the finish.”

The Blue Storm led 6-0 when, after Perkiomen bobbled a punt, Mahanama took a pitch from Prentiss and raced around the corner from five yards out. The Panthers answered almost immediately, however, driving down for a score of its own and capitalizing on the two-point conversion and an 8-6 lead.

Perkiomen then seized control of the game, forging a 14-6 halftime edge and scoring on two consecutive drives in the third stanza to stretch the margin to 28-6.

The Storm gained strength and momentum, though, when Prentiss kept the ball on a speed option and raced 60 yards to paydirt. The conversion failed and the visitors entered the fourth quarter trailing 28-12. Mercersburg’s defense held firm and Prentiss then drove the offense for the Storm’s third score with a mix of short passes to tight end Jack Yeager ’20, and a 5-yard scoring strike to Nelson. Mahanama took another pitch and added on the conversion, pulling the Storm to within six points with 5:22 left in the game.  

The teams traded possessions before the Storm embarked on what may be a season-defining drive, culminating in Prentiss’ second touchdown pass to Nelson. Mahanama was just short on the two-point conversion attempt. Perkiomen mounted a drive in a bid to win the game in regulation, but the Storm defense rose to the challenge, as Rice picked off a pass to end the Panthers’ final drive in regulation. 

The hosts took the ball first in overtime, but was kept out of the end zone by an aggressive Storm “front.” Then, on Mercersburg's second play of overtime, Mahanama capped an outstanding evening at running back with a five-yard burst up the middle, giving the Storm the 34-28 victory. 

Nelson now has six touchdown catches on the season (out of 13 receptions). Prentiss, who threw his first interception of the season, has now tossed 10 touchdown passes. 

Mercersburg (3-1) returns to action next Saturday, October 12, with the last of three consecutive road games, as the Blue Storm travels to take on Delco Christian (2-2). Kickoff is at 2 p.m.