Something as seemingly insignificant as a declined penalty helped Andrews continue its promising start to the season Friday night at Yellow Jackets Stadium.
With time winding down and the game tied, C.E. Murray quarterback Fareal Walker ran 16 yards to the 5-yard line, and the War Eagles were flagged for a clipping penalty with 4 seconds remaining.
As C.E. Murray huddled near the sideline to determine its next play, Andrews declined the penalty and the clock started and easily ran out before the War Eagles could get to the ball to snap it.
Jamie Singleton scored his third touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run in overtime, and the Yellow Jackets defense sacked Walker for a 5-yard loss and forced three incompletions to secure a 29-22 victory.
"I knew they didn't have timeouts left, and we knew the clock was going to run if we just declined the penalty," head coach Steven Blanchard said. "Once you decline there's no way they can spot the ball and get up there and get the ball off."
The Yellow Jackets improved to 4-1 entering Region VII-AA play, assuring them four wins in a season for the first time since 2006. C.E. Murray fell to 2-2.
"The question is there was a flag that was dropped, and the next thing we know the clock was running," Murray coach Reginald Jamison said. "But we're not going to put it on that. There were a lot of things we did not do to help Andrews win this game. We did not execute at our best offensively nor defensively."
Andrews quarterback Ken Funnye gained 146 yards and scored a touchdown on 20 carries in the back-and-forth game, and Singleton had the three scores and 86 yards on 20 carries.
"I'm a fourth-quarter guy," Singleton said. "They can use me. I like having the ball anywhere. Just give me the ball and let me run over somebody or run past them."
After the Yellow Jackets attempted some no-huddle and quick snaps before halftime, when they trailed 14-7, they came out determined to run over the War Eagles in the second half.
Tyree Scott had a nice return of the second-half kickoff to the Andrews 38, and from there the Yellow Jackets ran off five consecutive running plays that each gained more than 10 yards, capped by a 13-yard touchdown run by Funnye that tied the game at 14.
"We just decided at halftime we were going to scratch that [no-huddle] and come like we normally do and get after it, and that's what we did," Blanchard said.
C.E. Murray took advantage of a shanked 1-yard punt late in the third to take over at the Andrews 11 and score three plays later on a 7-yard slant pass from Walker to Foster. A two-point conversion run by Walker on a fake kick gave the War Eagles an 8-point lead.
Aided by a 15-yard penalty for a late hit, and propelled by an 18-yard pass from Funnye to Larry Brown that converted a 4th and 10 to the Murray 15-yard line, Andrews tied the game midway through the fourth. Singleton scored on a 4-yard run and added a two-point conversion run to knot the game at 22.
Andrews reached the Murray 30 and had a fourth-and-2 with 2:05 remaining. Singleton found a crease in the line but officials ruled him inches short of the first down and C.E. Murray took over, eventually driving to the 5 in seven plays and less than 2 minutes before time ran out.