REELTOWN — Cameron Faison scored the game-winning two-point conversion in overtime, and Reeltown beat Leroy 29-28 in a thriller Friday night, sending the Rebels jumping in jubilation and on the way to the Class 2A state championship game.
Faison punched in his winning run after Reeltown battled back in overtime — all after Leroy scored to go up 21-14 with 1:25 left and then Reeltown answered with 53 seconds left to send it to overtime 21-21.
Reeltown advances to play Fyffe in the Class 2A title game next Friday night at the Super 7 event in Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
Reeltown head coach Matt Johnson could hardly put it into words, as his team celebrated among cheering, hugging and crying on the field with supporters who stormed on. “I don’t think it’s possible,” he said.
Just say Reeltown was unreal.
Leroy quarterback Kade Moseley powered in the sneak from the 1-yard line to make it 21-14 with just 1:25 left in regulation, capping 14 unanswered for the visitors in the fourth quarter in Nix-Webster-O’Neal Stadium.
Seemingly down to its last miracle, Reeltown quarterback Iverson Hooks scrambled from his own 38-yard looking for some magic — and that’s when he found Faison wide open behind the defense, and hit him before Faison ran the reception down to the 4. Faison scored the touchdown from 2 yards out to tie it up with less than a minute left.
In overtime, Moseley ran in another score for Leroy and the made extra point put Reeltown against the wall again down 28-21.
Hooks threw a 12-yard touchdown to Logan Lee, and that set the stage for Reeltown to go for the win — and for Faison to punch in the conversion before supporters flooded the field celebrating Reeltown’s first trip to the state title game since 2012.
“That’s why you don’t quit,” a supporter shouted embracing a player in the celebration. Players cried. Cheerleaders embraced. Parents held their young children up on their shoulders as the shouts for “RHS” and “big blue” rang out into the night.
“They deserve it,” Johnson said of his players. “There’s no doubt about it. They’ve worked their tails off to this point and they deserve every bit of it.”
Reeltown moved to 13-1. Reeltown will meet Fyffe (14-0) in Jordan-Hare at 3 p.m. on Dec. 6.
Leroy’s season ended at 11-3. Leroy running back Kelston Fikes played brilliantly and ran for 172 yards in the loss.
“That’s a great team over there and our guys just kept fighting,” Johnson said. “It’s a whole testament to our guys. Just to will to get in there right there at the end — it was just awesome.”
Hooks scrambled right and fired to hit Lee at the goal line for that overtime touchdown, on second-and-goal from the 12.
Lee was shaken up on the play, and in the moment of hesitation, Reeltown made the call to go for two and decide the game on one play. On the big play as the stadium watched breathless, Hooks scrambled right, ducked, dodged, and got dropped short as Leroy erupted — before attention turned to the officials’ yellow flag on the field, and a defensive holding call on Leroy, charged to a hold on a Reeltown receiver, which busted up Hooks’ intended target on the play-call. The flag gave Reeltown another try at the 1-yard line.
Faison punched it in. Hooks and Faison said they knew he would score before Hooks even handed it to him.
That’s how Reeltown completed the improbable victory.
“I about cried,” Hooks said. “Me and Cam, we’ve been talking about this since summer. To actually go to the championship with my seniors, that’s a big feeling.”
Reeltown has the chance to win state for the first time since 2009.
“Coach called my number. It was my time to go,” Faison said. “We got it in the end zone. The line did everything they were supposed to do. We’re a family. We got it done.”
The game was tied 7-7 at the half, with the stadium reaching for a fever pitch. It was everything high school football could be. The stands were packed on both sides. The bands trumpeted into the night, fans threw their arms up, and rowdy Reeltown football alums banged the fencing in the end zone, desperate to see the program get back to the state title game.
After Moseley scored Leroy’s first touchdown to put Reeltown in a hold, the Rebels muscled together a 13-play scoring drive in the second quarter, capped by Hooks’ fourth-and-goal sneak to tie it up with 3:35 until the break.
It felt like Reeltown’s night coming out of the locker room. Reeltown flexed more of that muscle on the opening drive of the third quarter, before Trey Trey Hughley raced in a 6-yard touchdown on fourth-and-3 from the 6, to complete a nine-play scoring drive.
But after Reeltown went up 14-7, Leroy started to mount its own comeback. Fikes impressed with four straight big runs to start a fourth-quarter drive to get Leroy past midfield, and that’s when Moseley faked to Fikes and threw to hit Caleb Moore for a 39-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 with 8:40 left.
Leroy held Reeltown to a three-and-out from there before fullback Hunter Weaver broke through the defense on an inside give to race 45 yards down to the 1, and Moseley punched it in to put Leroy on top with 1:25 left.
In the first half of the overtime period, Fikes ran six yards from the 10 to the 4 before Moseley ran in the touchdown.
“We were having trouble stopping them,” Johnson admitted, on Reeltown’s decision to go for two points and the win moments later. Fikes tallied up his yards on 27 carries. “So we knew at some point we’ve got to just try to win this thing.”
Reeltown did that.
“It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing,” Faison said. “We all love each other like a family of brothers.”
He ran for 53 yards and caught 58 more receiving yards. Hooks ran for 61 and threw for 127.
“We just fought to the end and came out with the victory,” Hooks said.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
LHS 0 7 0 14 7—28
RHS 0 7 7 7 8—29
LHS—Kade Moseley 14 run (Trey Sullivan kick), 10:34.
RHS—Iverson Hooks 1 run (Connor Moore kick), 3:35.
RHS—Trey Trey Hughley 6 run (Connor Moore kick), 7:51.
LHS—Caleb Moore 39 pass from Kade Moseley (Trey Sullivan kick), 8:40.
LHS—Kade Moseley 1 run (Trey Sullivan kick), 1:25.
RHS—Cameron Faison 2 run (Connor Moore kick), 0:53.
LHS—Kade Moseley 4 run (Trey Sullivan kick).
RHS—Logan Lee 12 pass from Iverson Hooks (Cameron Faison run).