CARY — Holly Springs had to rally time and again to defeat Green Hope 37-31 in overtime, but trading touchdowns was only a small part of what it had to recover from Friday night.
Offensive lineman Anthony Gomez was taken from the field by ambulance in the third quarter after suffering a leg injury.
Gomez was run blocking one Green Hope player when another Green Hope player fell into the back of his legs around the ankle area. Gomez was hit high and low, and from the front and the back.
His teammates who first saw the injury were distraught.
The game was delayed for 25 minutes while Gomez lay on the field, waiting for EMS.
Holly Springs (5-4, 4-1 Southwest Wake) was down 21-17 in the third quarter when Gomez was hurt.
Green Hope (4-5, 1-4) scored first with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Luke Massei to Elijah Murrane with 6:52 left in the first quarter.
The Golden Hawks answered with a 29-yard field goal by Zach Esposito to trail 7-3.
On the first play of the second quarter, Massei found Bryce Dixon over the top on a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Holly Springs’ Tray Staten scored on a 2-yard run to cap off a drive shortened by a Murrane fumble.
On the first play after the kickoff, Massei found Murrane on a 71-yard touchdown pass, and thanks to Massei’s pumpfake that got Holly Springs to jump on the screen.
Green Hope led 21-10 with 3:52 left in the half.
Holly Springs took the time remaining and went on an eight-play, 58-yard drive that ended in a D.J. Cornish 3-yard touchdown run.
Massei was picked off on the final throw of the half, one of his few miscues, but Green Hope still led 21-17.
The Golden Hawks missed a field goal on the end of the drive that Gomez was hurt, but scored on the next one with a 3-yard run by Will Forrestal.
Green Hope went 92 yards on its next drive, capping it off with a 2-yard Massenburg run to take a 28-24 lead with 2:23 left.
Holly Springs used a fair catch on Green Hope’s ensuing short kickoff and only needed to go 60 yards. Forrestal scored on a 1-yard keeper with 43.7 seconds left to put the Hawks up.
But in those final seconds, Massei completed 4-of-6 passes to set up Nolan Paussa’s 35-yard field goal with 1.2 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Green Hope had first possession in overtime and went 0 for 4 in passing, including a intentional grounding call that pushed the ball back to the 45 on 4th and goal.
Holly Springs lined up two straight runs to win, scoring on a 3-yard run from Staten.
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