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Lowell pass jolts Panthers

Lowell's Nick Hamm celebrates with George Fields after Fields scored touchdown putting Red Devils ahead 28-14 second quarter against Griffith.

Lowell's Nick Hamm celebrates with George Fields after Fields scored a touchdown putting the Red Devils ahead 28-14 in the second quarter against Griffith. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

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LOWELL (2-2, 1-1 NCC) 14 - 14 - 0 - 0 == 0 == 8 == 36

GRIFFITH (1-3, 0-2 NCCC) 14 - 14 - 0 - == 0 == 7 = 35

9-7-12, @ Griffith

1st quarter

GRIFFITH (7-0 Austin Brown, 13-yard run. Steven Sharpe kick.

LOWELL (7-7) George Fields 68-yard run. Colton Wilkey kick.

GRIFFITH (14-7) Brett Brinkley, 1-yard run. Steven Sharpe kick

LOWELL (14-14) George Fields 18-yard run. Colton Wilkey kick.

2nd quarter

LOWELL (14-21) Bryan Thomas, 61-yard run. Colton Wilkey kick.

LOWELL (14-28) George Fields 11-yard run. Colton Wilkey kick.

GRIFFITH (21-28) Austin Brown, 29-yard pass from Kyle Buikema. Steven Sharpe kick.

GRIFFITH (28-27) Brett Brinkley, 54-yard interception return, Steve Sharpe kick. :09 left.

1st OVERTIME

NO SCORING

2nd OVERTIME

GRIFFITH (35-28) Austin Brown, 10-yard run. Steven Sharpe kick.

LOWELL (35-36) Bryan Thomas , 3-yard run. 2-point pass from Bryan Thomas to Wes Hardin.

RUSHNG: LOWELL: George Fields (HB) 31 carries, 183 yards, 3 TDs; Bryan Thomas (QB) 13 carries, 118 yards, 2 TDs.

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Updated: September 11, 2012 3:08PM



GRIFFITH (9-8-12) Its not like Lowell’s entire season would be lost had they lost to Griffith last Friday.

It just felt that way.

Lowell rallied for a touchdown and a two-point conversion in overtime against their No. 1 rival and gave their season new life with a memorable 36-35 road win.

After a 28-28 first half, both teams could not score in the second half, setting up an overtime where both teams get a possession from the 10-yard line.

Griffith (1-3) failed to score in the first overtime and Lowell could have won the game with a field goal by sophomore Colton Wilkey, who was 4-for-4 on extra points in regulation.

But Griffith’s Tyler Lipski blocked the kick, sending the game to second overtime.

The Panthers scored easily in the second overtime on a 10-yard run by Austin Brown, who ran for three TDs on the night.

The game was ironic redemption for Lowell senior Wesley Hardin. In the second week of the 2011 season, Lowell ran a fourth quarter roll out pass from QB Bryan Thomas that found Hardin about 10 yards behind the Morton defense in a game that was being televised live on TV throughout Northwest Indiana.

Had Hardin caught the ball he’d have run uncontested into the end zone, probably changing the outcome of a 13-6 Morton victory.

It would have cut the lead to 13-12 and Lowell might have gone for a two-point conversion to take the lead with 8:31 left.

But Hardin dropped the ball and the Red Devils lost

Almost 13 months later Hardin got a second chance.

The call to go for the win at the end of the second overtime was bolder than it seemed. Quarterback Bryan Thomas had thrown two interceptions earlier and there is a risk not gpjng with a guys who averages seven yards a carry (Fields) on a two yard conversion Over 12 months later, Lowell was about to be 1-3 in Thomas and Hardin’s senior season. Thomas, who had his first career 100-yard rushing game, scored on a three-yard run and coach Keith Kilmer decided that the game would be won or lost on the next play.

Thomas rolled to his right and the entire Griffith defense guessed ‘run’. The Lowell QB delivered the ball and Hardin, who had an interception earlier, grabbed it for two points and the victory, only Lowell’s 29th win in 82 games against the Panthers.

It was a crushing losss for Griffith, which rallied form a 28-14 second quarter deficit. The Panthers (1-3, 0-2 NCC) fell out of the race for first place in the seven-team Northwest Crossroads Conference.

FIVE QUESTIONS abot LOWELL after 4 weeks....

1.) How likely is it that Lowell wins the NCC championship?

Lowell can tie for the legaue title in a lot of ways.

To win outright (like they did in 2009) Kankakee Valley has to lose to Griffith next week and Andrean on Sept. 28 and Lowell has to win final four league games Munster (1-3), Highland (1-3), Hobart (2-2) and Andrean (3-1). Hobart and Andeabn are both averaging 30 points a game but, for what its worth, Lowell is 19-3 in the month of September since the start of the 2007 season.

2.) What is the strangest thing about Lowell’s season so far?

That they’ve lost to KV and defeated Morton. In the pre-season, I thought Morton was both superior to KV and I think they stil are.

The second strangest thing about Lowell is that they have still not scored a rushing TD in the fourth quarter all year. Lowell teams typically waer down he opposition. Its not odd for the Red Devils not to score in the firts quarter but its is strange for them not to score late.

3.) Is it fair to say that Lowell lost to KV because they lost George Fields to an injury in that game?

No, its not fair. It may be true but its not fair. Obviously, when one player scored 10 TDs in three games and doesnt play in a fourth, which turns out to be a 17-7 loss, that’s circumstansial evidence.

But until KV loses a game, its hard to say who they should’ve or should not have beaten.

4.) WHY IS EVERYBODY SCORING SO MUCH?

Chesterton, Andrean, Whiting and Merrillville is averaging over 40 points a game but they are winning. Portage (1-3) is averaging 35 a game. Morton (31.0), Hobart (33.3) and Hammond (32.2) are all putting up big numbers.

Its a long shot theory but we had some very hot days in the pre-season and we’ve had

a couple of cool game nights early on.

When its 85 all week and 65 for the game, even I think I can run all night.

Plus its just the way the game is going.

More artficial turf and more spread offenses like Merrillville’s. Its an offensive season.



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