GALLATIN - For the next 365 days, Station Camp gets to claim the title as best football team in the city of Gallatin.
The Station Camp Bison (2-0) earned their first Mayor’s Cup victory with a thrilling 22-19 overtime win over the Gallatin Green Wave (0-2) at the Bison Athletic Complex Friday night.
A 5-2 halftime slugfest quickly turned into a shootout in the final 30 minutes as both teams put up over 150 total yards on their way to a 19-19 tie at the end of regulation.
Leading 5-2 on the Bison’s first drive of the second half, Station Camp marched 80 yards on 9 plays before punching it in for six from 31 yards out.
Facing third-and-6 from the Gallatin 31, quarterback Blaine Forte decided to keep the ball on the triple option attack before outrunning the opposition for six and the game’s first touchdown for the 12-2 lead. Bison kicker Trey Hampton connected on both of his extra-point attempts.
Up 12-2 on their first defensive series of the second half, Station Camp’s Nylan Alexander made his presence felt, intercepting an Ander Sloan deep ball at the Bison 35. Alexander showed his speed and elusiveness, cutting from sideline to sideline to score his second pick-six in as many weeks.
Alexander’s 65-yard interception pushed the Bison out in front, 19-2 as the home crowd shook the stadium with excitement and chants of, “Who’s your daddy?”
“We told them at halftime, that as tight as it was, it would be a fourth quarter game,” Station Camp coach Shaun Hollinsworth said of the Wave’s late-game run. “I knew this game wasn’t over when we went up [by 17] because they have good players too. I knew they would figure it out and get things rolling; unfortunately for us our turnovers here and there gave them a few more opportunities to get back in the game. You can’t give a team like Gallatin opportunities like that because they are going to find a way to score.”
Needing a spark on the next Green Wave possession, Reggie Morris took matters into his own hands as a 50 yard kickoff return set the Wave up with their best field position of the night with just over five minutes left in the third quarter.
Following an incomplete pass, Morris caught a screen pass out of the backfield before rumbling his way inside the Station Camp 1-yard line for the 48-yard gain.
Fullback Bailey Silcox pounded in the Wave’s first score, cutting the deficit to just 10, 19-9 with just over five minutes left in the third quarter.
Austin Wright brought the Wave to within one possession with his 20-yard field goal with just over 10 minutes left in the game after an offensive stall inside the Bison 10-yard line.
Getting the ball back with just under 10 minutes left, all Station Camp needed to do was milk the clock, pick up a few first downs and the game would be over. Gallatin had other plans.
Facing first-and-10, after giving up a first down, Gallatin recovered a Station Camp fumble on the triple option exchange to set the Wave up with excellent field position and plenty of time to spare.
Sloan found his favorite target Ethan Green in the corner of the end zone, tying the game at 19 with just over 3:30 to go.
“We started just doing things better,” Gallatin coach Mark Williams said of the second-half adjustment. “We started making big plays, Reggie Morris makes a big play out of the backfield and had some things go our way. Defense kept us in it in the second half; we feel good the way our defense stepped up.”
Neither team could capitalize in regulation as the Battle for the Mayor’s Cup went to overtime.
After winning the toss, Station Camp elected to go on defense first so that it would know what needed to be done to win the game on offense. Getting the ball at the 10-yard line, Gallatin moved inside the 1, where the Wave faced fourth-and-goal.
Electing to go with the quarterback sneak, Gallatin could not get the push it needed as Station Camp ran off the field knowing it needed just three points to take the win.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t know what our play call was,” Station Camp senior Billy Weekley said of the goal-line stand. “I thought they were going to run their power to the right, but when Ander tried to sneak it in I was hopeful he didn’t get in under. Just a happy win for all of us.”
After picking up six yards on first down, Station Camp elected to send kicker Trey Hampton for the win. A clean snap, clean hold and a perfect kick delivered Station Camp a 22-19 win and their first victory in the Battle for the Mayor’s Cup series.
“This win means everything to me,” Weekley said. “Going to Rucker and not going to Gallatin and then having all those guys over there get mad at me, then not beating them until this year just means everything to me.”
Pain the town Maroon and White because this city belongs to the Bison.
Station Camp - 197 Total Yards
Passing: Blaine Forte 5/10, 64 yards, 2INT
Rushing: Blaine Forte - 65 yards, 1 TD; Nylan Alexander - 2 carries, 18 yards - 1INT, 65 yards, 1TD; Keshon Jackson - 4 carries, 18 yards
Receiving: Nylan Alexander - 2 catches, 24 yards; Carson Quince - 3 catches, 30 yards
Gallatin - 201 Total Yards
Passing: Ander Sloan - 10/23, 123 yards, 1TD, 1INT
Rushing: Spencer Briggs - 78 yards; Reggie Morris - 4 carries, 20 yards; Bailey Silcox - 7 carries, 20 yards, 1 TD; Ander Sloan - 5 carries, -5 yards
Receiving: Ethan Green - 6 catches, 22 yards, 1 TD; Reggie Morris - 2 catches, 22 yards; Bailey Silcox - 1 catch, 29 yards