LEXINGTON — A game full of missed opportunities came down to the final seconds, and for a moment, it looked like the George Rogers Clark Cardinals would have a solid shot at earning their first win of the season. Instead, officials ruled the game over and Clark left Tates Creek High School with a 46-39 loss to the Commodores.
The Cardinals (0-8) forced Tates Creek into a 4th-and-long with five seconds remaining. The Commodores lined up to punt, but the punt was a fake, designed to waste the final seconds. When the Cardinals forced the ball carrier out of bounds, the scoreboard showed three seconds, but the officials ruled the clock started late on the play, and that was the game.
The officials reset the game clock once in the final two minutes of play, but brushed off calls by the Cardinals coaching staff that the clock was running longer than it should have.
“Missed opportunities,” Clark coach Steven Collins said. “Down there at the end we’re hollering to stop the clock and start the clock. It’s a lot of an accumulation of things. These kids are fighting, they’re fighting, they’re fighters. We love ‘em and we’re going to keep plugging on.”
The difficult to swallow ending, which allowed the Commodores (3-5) to avenge a loss from last season, led to some pushing and shoving after the game, with the majority of players from both teams involved before coaches and police broke up the brief melee.
“Really no comment, just things that happen all during the game,” Collins said of the post-game skirmish. “Our kids were frustrated. Frustrations happen. They’re fighting.
“We just have to keep our cool and not react to what others do.”
Despite the loss, the Cardinals offense was on fire.
Quarterback Luke Sharrock completed 15 of 24 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown. Sharrock completed three passes and rushed four times, including a touchdown run of one yard on Clark’s final drive. He finished with 90 yards rushing.
C.D. Spight led all rushers with 120 yards and two touchdowns. Davon Marshall caught seven passes for 75 yards.
Tates Creek was led by all-around player Dennis Oxendine.
Oxendine rushed for 55 yards with two scores, had seven receptions for 109 yards and a score and returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
The Cardinals will play host to Madison Central next week. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium.
The Indians suffered a 21-0 setback to Lafayette Friday night.
TC — Taylor 22 from Gordon (Ryan kick) 9:31
GRC — Sharrock 4 run (Dailey kick) 4:02
TC — Oxendine 95 kick return (Kick failed) 3:49
GRC — Stoneking 15 from Sharrock (Dailey kick) :24
GRC — Spight 17 run (Dailey kick) 11:47
GRC — Spight 21 run (Pass failed) 7:09
TC — Gordon 2 run (Run failed) 3:21
TC — Oxendine 3 run (Pass failed) :18
GRC — Sharrock 3 run (Run failed) 8:50
TC — Oxendine 21 from Gordon (Run failed) 7:26
TC — Oxendine 3 run (Oxendine run) 5:41
TC — Dunn 17 from Gordon (Ryan kick) 4:06
GRC — Sharrock 1 run (Run failed) 2:03