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Gamble pays off for Crescent

September 16, 2020 - 00:00
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Fisher’s fake punt call helps Tigers hold on to win over Apache

Gutsy or dumb.

The distinction is often a fine line for coaches and while the truth lies closer to the former, the outside opinion is sometimes shaped by a single play.

Turns out Crescent’s J.L. Fisher is gutsy this week.

With his team clinging to a two-point lead deep in the fourth quarter and facing a 4th-and-4 from its own 17, Fisher made one of those calls that will have people talking all week.

His Tigers lined up for a punt, but his deep snap per sent the ball to Hunter Wilmoth, the up-back.

Wilmoth weaved his way to a first down and the Tigers were able to run out the clock for a 20-18 homecoming victory.

“You become a hero or a zero real quick,” Fisher said of the call to fake the punt deep in his own territory.

The Tigers were riding the momentum of a goalline stand just moments before, which was one of multiple plays that helped preserve their narrow lead.

Another was stuffing the Warriors’ Michael Carattini on a would-be game-tying two-point run with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.

Crescent led 13-6 at halftime but Apache pulled within a point on Carattini’s second TD run of the night at the 7:04 mark of the third.

That touchdown was set up by an errant snap on a punt which, Fisher said, also aided his decision to fake the punt later in the game.

Wilmoth answered for the Tigers and pushed their lead to 20-12 on his 4-yard TD run - also his second - at 4:47 of the quarter.

The Warriors came right back with a 32- yard touchdown pass from Morgan Claborn to Hunter Smith.

The Tigers snuffed the ensuing two-point try and the night’s scoring ended there.

The teams were even almost all night.

Crescent had 273 rushing yards to the Warriors’ 260.

The Tigers threw for 123 yards to 82 for Apache.

The difference was a 69-yard touchdown pass from Cade Watkins to Cannon Bowers midway through the first quarter.

That helped erase a 6-0 deficit for Crescent. It took the lead on Tayon Johnson’s extra-point and never trailed again.

Wilmoth pushed it to 13-6 with his 7-yard touchdown run with 2:38 left in the first half.

Wilmoth ran for 63 yards on 15 attempts and was 5 of 10 for 54 yards passing.

Luke Descher carried it nine times for 72 yards. Bowers ended his night with three catches for 97 yards.

He also led the team with seven total tackles along with Johnson.

Watkins finished with six.

The win upped Crescent’s mark to 3-0.

The Tigers are off this week and return Sept. 25 at Oklahoma Bible Academy in Enid. That game begins District A-3 play for Crescent.