By Sam Sherman

The Pendleton Heights Arabians marched into the home of conference rival Delta on the final night of September with hopes of crashing the Eagles’ Homecoming celebrations. A very cold and rainy night set a somber tone for the physical football game that would ensue. The (1-5) Arabians were ready to take on the (4-2) Eagles to prove that the season had not ended for their team. A large part of the Pendleton Heights drive during the season has been dedication and persistence. As the Arabians arrived in a hostile environment with unfavorable conditions, they were eager to prove that their determination to win had not yet been diminished.

The first quarter began with a Delta offensive possession. Their biggest key is by far freshman running back Spegal. Spegal is the second best running back in the conference, and for a Pendleton Heights defense that struggles to stop the ground attack, he was sure to have a big night. Early on, the Eagles utilized this weapon on their first drive. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Spegal, but a failed 2-point conversion put Delta at just a 6-0 lead. The first Arabian offensive possession failed to take off, forcing Pendleton Heights’ sophomore Anakin Allison to punt in place of senior Payton Huth, who was out with a concussion. The Pendleton Heights defense came out strong on the next drive, however, taking advantage of a bad snap by Delta and recovering the fumble in the end zone. Thomas Quiroga successfully attempted the PAT, and the Arabians led 7-6 at the end of one, their first lead in a month.

The second quarter began with a slow, mixed Delta drive. The Eagles capped it off with another Spegal rushing touchdown, and this time succeeded in a 2-point conversion. The Eagles led 14-7. Neither team could achieve much of anything on the next few drives. Eventually, Delta drove down the field at the end of the half and completed a 13-yard touchdown pass with no time left on the clock. The Eagles led 21-7 at halftime.

The third quarter began with Pendleton Heights ball and a large run by senior running back Corbin Cox. A couple plays later, Cox ran from the Delta 30-yard line straight to the house for a touchdown. The Eagles’ lead was cut down to 21-14. However, it took Delta and Spegal just a few plays to run the ball from the Pendleton 37-yard line for another touchdown. This put Delta up 28-14. A failed squib kick attempt by Delta gave the Arabians excellent field position to start the next drive, their own 41 yard line. In just a couple plays, running back Corbin Cox took the ball again -this time from the Delta 33- and sprinted toward the end zone for another touchdown. Delta, who led 21-7 at the half, led now just 28-21 at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was controlled by the Arabians. After a few failing drives by both teams, the clock had dwindled down to under four minutes. The Arabians were driving down the field when sophomore quarterback Christian Conkling was sacked and the ball was given back to the Delta Eagles. After the Eagles drained the clock to 1:24, they were ready to punt. However, sophomore Hunter Thompson would beat the Delta line and block the punt for the Arabians, giving the offense excellent field position and a crazy momentum. In just a few plays, Conkling found senior receiver Sam Isaacs from 30-yards out in the end zone for a touchdown. Thomas Quiroga made the PAT, and the game was tied at 28. The Eagles chose to run the clock out, and we were headed to overtime.

 In Indiana High School Football, each team gets the ball from the 10-yard line. The game clock is off and the offense gets 4 plays to score something. After the drive, the other team gets a chance to respond. This goes on until one team has the higher score at the end of each chance. The Arabians got the ball first, but were held to just a field goal. The Delta Eagles then got their chance, trailing 31-28 at home on Homecoming night. The first play was a run by Spegal to the 8-yard line. The second a run by the quarterback to the 3-yard line. On third down, the Pendleton Heights defense held Spegal to no gain. This was it. The Eagles chose to go for the touchdown on fourth down. If they made it, the Eagles won. If the Pendleton Heights defense stopped them, the Arabians crash Delta’s Homecoming on the road. Then all was snapped, a handoff to Spegal. Spegal ran into the line and was stuffed on his first few steps. Once Spegal fell to the ground, the Pendleton Heights bench erupted. The Arabians had beaten the Eagles 31-28 in overtime.

 As the Arabians advance to (2-5) on the season, they will be sporting a strong momentum as they take on another conference foe, Yorktown, at home next week.