Early penalty proves costly for Italy 8th grade

Image: Ready to rumble — IHS 8th grade team tears through the sign ready to play.

Ready to rumble — IHS 8th grade team tears through the sign ready to play. (Anne Sutherland)

Italy hosted Hubbard on Thursday night and the game went down to the wire, but Italy lost in the final seconds 20-12.

On the first snap of Italy’s first possession, Tony Wooldridge powered 75 yards into the end zone bringing the hometown fans to their feet until a holding penalty nullified the touchdown. Four plays later a bobbled snap on an Italy punt gave Hubbard great field possession on the Italy 25-yard line. #9 scored on a 5-yard keeper to give his team a 6-0 lead with :26 left in the first period.

Italy was forced to punt, but got the ball back on the next play due to a Hubbard fumble. This time Chase Hamilton scored on a 10-yard scamper to tie the score 6-6.

Hubbard began the final drive of the half. They hit pay dirt eight plays later with only 11 seconds remaining in the first half when #20 scored from 5 yards out. The two-point conversion was successful to give Hubbard a 14-6 halftime lead.

The third quarter was a see-saw battle with neither team being able to find the end zone.

With 4:21 left in the game, Hamilton executed a perfect block to allow Wooldridge to sprint 77 yards untouched into the end zone. The two-point conversion failed, but Italy had closed the gap 14-12.

When Hubbard was forced to punt, Italy began driving down field. The drive was halted when #6 intercepted a Wooldridge pass intended for Hamilton. Two plays later, #9 drew blood again with a 43-yard touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Italy refused to concede the game and began their drive on the Hubbard 43-yard line. With determination and drive they moved the ball to the 10-yard line and stalled. Unable to convert a fourth down, Italy was forced to give the ball back to Hubbard with only six seconds on the clock. Hubbard won the game 20-12.