LOYSBURG - A jump ball is a play most closely associated with basketball, but Friday night it was the play that decided the outcome of the Northern Bedford-Everett football game.
Northern Bedford quarterback Blake Over threw up what basically amounted to a jump ball on the final play of the game, and teammate Kyler Diehl hauled it in for an 11-yard touchdown and a memorable 38-35 win over Everett Friday at Panther Community Stadium.
"I just focused on getting the ball at its highest point," Diehl said.
Everett took a 35-32 just moments earlier when Kyle Scheaffer ran through a Northern defender near the pylon with 44 seconds left in the game.
For a lot of teams that would have been the game, but not a Northern Bedford team with an experienced quarterback, quality wide receivers and all three timeouts.
It wasn't Over's arm that put Northern in scoring range, however. It was legs. Running on fumes at this point in the game, the 6-foot-4 signal caller got the Black Panthers final drive rolling with a 30-yard run to the Everett 25.
Two plays later, Over found Diehl over the middle for 14 yards to the 11 with eight seconds left. Following a timeout, Over connected with Jacob Dasher in the end zone for an apparent touchdown, but Trevon Ward's hit separated Dasher from the ball, setting up the decisive play.
"We knew it was going to be a pass option to the wide side of the field," Everett coach Mark Kirk said. "We didn't get any pressure on him. He stopped and started, stopped and started again then put the ball up."
The 6-foot-5 Diehl not outjumped four Everett defenders but one of his own teammates as well.
"I was waiting for someone to break free, but everyone was covered, so I kept scrambling and finally just put up for our D-1 receiver to go get it," Over said.
With the win, Northern remained undefeated early on at 3-0. Everett fell to 1-2.
"What pleases me most as a coach is the way our kids kept their composure when we lost the lead with just 44 seconds to go," Northern Bedford coach Jeff Batzel said. "Nobody panicked. Everybody stayed calm and did what they needed to do move the ball down the field."
For the Northern side, it was all joy and elation. For the Everett side, it was disappointment and heartbreak.
"It's best not to even to talk to the kids after a game like this. They're in there heartbroken," Kirk said, pointing to his team's locker room. "We played a heck of a game. The toughest thing to get the kids to understand when you lose one like this is to bounce back, forget it and move on to the next game."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Everett0 15 7 13 - 35
Northern Bedford0 14 6 18 - 38
NB-Over 31 run (kick failed), 11:51.
E-Sheaffer 99 kickoff return (Karns from Bulger), 11:34.
NB-Snyder 46 pass from Over (Over run), 8:50.
E-Karns 2 run (Steed kick), 5:13.
NB-Heck 3 run (kick failed), 6:19.
E-Ward 27 run (Steed kick), 3:55.
NB-Diehl 10 pass from Over (pass failed), 10:59.
E-Karns 8 run (Steed kick), 9:13.
NB-Over 1 run (kick failed), 2:02.
E-Sheaffer 5 run (kick failed), :44.
NB-Diehl 11 pass from Over, :00.
RUSHING: Everett-Jay 15-84, Karns 10-38, Ward 6-115, Sheaffer 3-27. Northern Bedford-Heck 23-106, Hershberger 1-4, Over 14-136, Brallier 4-6, Diehl 1-1.
PASSING: Everett-Ward 3-5-0-37. Northern Bedford-Over 22-37-0-268.
RECEIVING: Everett-Sheaffer 2-29, Jay 1-8. Northern Bedford-Diehl 7-80, Dasher 12-123, Snyder 2-50, Heck 1-15.