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TELL CITY—Trent Gunn threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Trent Benningfield on first down in overtime as Tell City beat Forest Park 21-20 in PAC football Friday.
Forest Park had gone on offense first in overtime and had scored on third down on a 15-yard pass from Grant Welp to Kyle Schwinghamer.
The Rangers, who don’t have a strong place-kicker, tried for a two-point conversion, but their pass fell incomplete.
Benningfield’s touchdown then tied the game, so all Tell City had to do to win was kick the extra point.
On the wet, muddy field, that was no sure thing, though. Wes Hinton had had a field-goal attempt blocked with 0:13 left in regulation and had been tackled for a 16-yard loss after a high snap on what was supposed to be a punt.
But he said the blocked field goal “wasn’t even on my mind” in overtime. “I was so focused on kicking the extra point.
He did make it, his third in as many attempts on the night, to give the Marksmen the victory.
Tell City Coach Don Hitz noted that the blocked field goal had occurred on the west end of the field, which he said was in wetter and worse shape. “That’s why I wanted the ball on the other end in overtime.
“And it was a good snap, a great hold (by Jerry Ammon), and a great kick. He’s a darned good kicker. And he punted the ball well tonight—he pinned them deep for us.”
Field position was key for the Marksmen most of the game, as they weren’t able to pass the ball or get outside for many long runs, though Gunn did reel off a 49-yard gain early in the second quarter.
That set up his second touchdown, scored on an 8-yard run to put the Marksmen up 14-0 with 7:29 left in the first half.
He also scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter. Forest Park’s fumbled punt return, recovered by Justin Hagan, set up that touchdown.
Forest Park scored on two touchdown passes from Welp to Schwinghamer in the second half and a two-point conversion pass from Welp to Trent Theising to tie the score.
With the ball being wet and receivers unable to make sharp cuts on the muddy field, Tell City did not complete a pass in regulation.
But offensive coordinator Art Schlichter called for one on the Marksmen’s first play in overtime because “they’d been coming up on our sweep all night and putting nine men in the box, and that’s just a little play that we’ve used and had some success with.”
“It’s a 28 sweep pass,” said Benningfield. “I just ran out there and tried to get back to the ball. And I made sure my gloves were dry enough (before the play started) to catch the ball.”
Quarterback Nick Kleaving took the snap and handed off to tailback Gunn, who threw it.
“I saw that corner(back) guarding Beefy (Benningfield) get turned around and I just threw it,” said Gunn. “And he made a good catch.”
Gunn rushed for a game-high 148 yards on 21 carries and fullback Kyle Osborne added 70 yards on 16 carries.
On defense for Tell City Tyrel Newlin, Hinton and Jordan Keown sacked Welp. Dylan Froehlich also made a key tackle for a loss.
Tell City improved to 2-7 overall and 2-5 in the PAC. Forest Park fell to 4-5 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
The Marksmen will host Crawford County for a first-round sectional game Friday at 6:30 p.m.