Anz’ kick lifts Devils past Bears

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 24, 2003

Four quarters of effort, of sweat, of pain came down to a single play Thursday night in Maplesville.

The Red Devils’ Luke Smith had just sacrificed his body diving into the end zone to tie the game at 14. With just over four minutes left in Jamboree action against the Keith Bears the Devils were going for the win.

Maplesville lined up for the two-point try, but the home team never snapped the ball.

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Instead they took a 5-yard delay of game penalty and decided to put the game on the shoulders of junior tight end/kicker Tanner Anz.

Anz’ try fluttered through the goalposts and just over the cross bar to give the Maplesville squad a 15-14 lead.

Maplesville survived the final four minutes and took the win.

Both teams moved the ball well between the 20’s, but close to the goal line the mistakes seemed to multiply.

Both teams running games showed flashes of brilliance.

Keith was able to gouge Maplesville for big gains, while the Red Devils pounded away with fullback Ray Lawley.

Lawley carried 18 times for 121 yards to lead the Red Devils.

Ford said Lawley will be a big part of the Red Devils team next week at Dallas County when the game’s count.

Tailback Luke Smith added 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 20 carries.

Smith tied the game with a 8-yard run on an option pitch. He covered the last yards in the air and paid the price on a tough hit, but put the ball in the end zone.

Emmett Dukes led all rushers with 149 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 14 carries.

He also had two catches for 52

yards and threw a 13-yard half back pass.

Dukes recovered a fumble of defense but also had a key fumble late in the game. Richardson and Deonte Milhouse added 56 yards each on the ground.

The conditioning of the Red Devils paid off in the fourth quarter as they began to get heavy pressure on the Bears’ offense.

Smith recovered a late fumble and Travis Green has some key plays, including a fumble-forcing sack. Brett Arnold also recovered a fumble. Kenny Lenoir added an interception for the Devils defense.

Things started off well for Keith.

On the first play of the game, Dukes took a handoff on his own 30 and swept all the way to the Maplesville 25-yard line.

Two plays later, quarterback Ladarrius Jones’ pass was picked off in the end zone.

Jones had 52 yards passing on the day but Maplesville kept good pressure on him.

Maplesville drove all the way to the Keith 24 but Jeremy Richardson pounced on a fumbled snap.

The teams traded ineffective drives until midway through the second quarter.

Keith took over at their own 40 and went to work.

After a penalty moved them back 5 yards, Dukes and Richardson each ripped off nice gains into Maplesville territory.

After two more runs from Dukes and Richardson, Millhouse scampered down to the 23 on a reverse.

They marched down to the 11 then Dukes went around the end and scored.

Dukes punched in the two-point conversion and Keith led 8-0.

They went to the half at that score.

Keith was on the move again, but a fumble killed the drive. Brandon Atchison recovered for Maplesville at the Keith 49. The first three downs netted only 5 yards, but White hit Cody Blair over the middle for 20 yards and a first down.

A late hit flag moved the ball to the 12 and Lawley hit for 4 yards.

Smith finished off the drive, then scored the two-point conversion to tie the game.

After more miscues by both teams, Keith got on the board again.

Dukes started the drive by recovering a fumble. A pretty lob pass from Jones to Dukes moved the ball down to the 9 at the end of the third quarter.

On the first play of the fourth, Dukes took the ball around the corner, waved to a defender as he went past and scored.

The conversion failed, but Keith was up 14-8.

With just over four minutes left, Keith got the ball deep in their own territory and appeared ready to run out the clock.

On second and 8 from their own 33, Dukes too the handoff and was immediately spun around.

His legs twisted awkwardly underneath him and the ball squirted 10-yards back.

Smith recovered the loose ball and took it down to the 15-yard line.

He punched it in a few plays later, setting up Anz for the game winner.

Keith still had a chance as they got the ball at the 30, but Green forced a fumble.

Arnold recovered and Maplesville appeared to have the win sealed.

Going for the final score, the Red Devils fumbled at the goal line and Ira Jackson recovered in the end zone to give the Bears a final shot with just a few seconds left.

Green put big pressure on Jones and forced an incompletion on first down.

The Bears missed on their next two tries and set up for a final play.

Jones tossed the ball to Dukes, who faked a sweep.

He pulled up and hit a receiver for a 13-yard gain.

He was tackled to end the game.