Hampton loses to Lake Taylor on disputed non-TD, blocked kick

Mike Smith was incensed after Hampton's playoff game Friday night.

And with good reason, as he truly believed his team earned the right to keep its season alive.

But a questionable call took away a Hampton win in overtime, and Lake Taylor blocked a 24-yard field-goal try to preserve a 10-7 win in the Eastern Region Division 5 semifinals.

"My kids played their hearts out tonight," said Smith. "I can't say much right now or I'll get in ď trouble, but if you want to interview someone, you should go find those refs and ask them to explain what happened."

After forging a 7-all tie in regulation, Hampton won the coin toss in overtime and elected to play defense first.

The Crabbers' defense held, forcing a 25-yard field goal by Lake Taylor's Adrian Bravo-Morales.

On Hampton's second play of the extra period, Kavon Bellamy went off-tackle to the left side and ended up pushing a pile into the end zone and drawing a touchdown call from a side judge.

The back judge reversed the call, told Smith he heard a whistle and placed the ball on the 2-yard line.

"I turned my head for two seconds to talk to someone about locking up a gate and didn't even see the play," said Bobby Pannenbacker, the director of the Eastern Region playoffs and athletic director at Lake Taylor. "I turned back around to see their players jumping around and ours lying on the ground, then saw the refs reverse the call. Somebody told me it was because you can't push the pile forward to advance the ball, but I can't say that's what happened, because I didn't see it.

"I haven't talked to Mike yet, but I'm going to. I imagine there's some type of formal protest, and I'll have to look into that and see what the options are."

The Crabbers lost yardage on the next play, setting up a block by Lake Taylor's Travis Williams.

In regulation, Lake Taylor scored on its second possession to open a 7-0 lead when Stanley Walls found Mario Rowson in the back right corner of the end zone on a fade route.

It was the first touchdown Hampton had surrendered in 14 quarters.

It took Hampton awhile to find the solution to Lake Taylor's pressure defense, which is built around overwhelming the offense's ability to block by sending more rushers than the offense has blockers.

Just two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Crabbers found what they needed by overloading one side of the field with four wide receivers.

They managed a 61-yard pass play before fumbling the ball away on the goal line, but found magic again on their next possession.

Watford lofted a pass down the right sideline to a streaking Jason Manago, who blew by his defender to catch the ball and even things up.

Neither team managed much offense in the first half.

The Crabbers were held to minus-19 yards, but surrendered just 55 as the teams combined for eight first-half punts. „f

LAKE TAYLOR 10, HAMPTON 7, OT Hamptonƒr0ƒz0ƒz0ƒz7ƒz0 -- ƒ{7 Lake Taylorƒr7ƒz0ƒz0ƒz0ƒz3 -- 10

LT: Rowson 26 pass from Walls (Bravo-Morales kick)

Ham: Manago 44 pass from Watford (Hutcheson kick)

LT: FG Bravo-Morales 25


First downs 5 5

Rushes-yards 27-4 35-69

Passing yards 105 28

Comp-Att-Int 4-20-1 2-13-1

Punts-avg. 8-35 8-34

Penalties-yards 8-85 6-46

Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0