Terriers lose on missed extra point in overtime

NAPLES — It took a wild back-and-forth game, an injury to their starting quarterback and a missed extra point to deliver Moore Haven its first regular-season loss since 2016.

The Terriers lost 21-20 to the Neumann Celtics on Sept. 14 in Naples, bringing them to 1-1 for the 2018 season. Terrier head coach Max Manin was happy with his team’s start, but says penalties hurt his team late in the game.

“We got on them really quick,” said Manin. “Our third play was a 70-yard touchdown run, then we get an interception on their first drive. We had a lot of momentum and it looked like everything was going our way, then our quarterback breaks his hand. Then we just started making some mistakes and committing some dumb penalties, and it felt like the wheels were coming off. And even with all that happening, we were still right there; it was still a game that we were in. That’s what is really crazy.”

Neumann scored a touchdown early in the second quarter to tie the game. And the score remained 7-7 until the fourth quarter when Moore Haven, operating out of the wildcat after the injury to quarterback L.J. Sampson, was able to score a touchdown to go up 14-7.

But Neumann was able to march down he field and tie the game to force overtime.

Neumann received the ball first in overtime and proceeded to march down the field to go up 21-14. However, the Terriers, injuries and all, refused to lose the game and answered with a touchdown of their own.

But then the snap was muffed on the extra point attempt, and the Terriers, who went unbeaten for the 2017 season, were delivered their first loss of the 2018 season.
“It’s a tough one,” Manin said. “You just try to pull away positives from it. A lot of these kids were on that unbeaten team last year, so I think something like this can bring you back down to reality a bit and force you to get back to work and continue to work hard.”

Junior starting quarterback Sampson had X-rays so doctors could evaluate his injury, and it appears to just be a hairline fracture. Still, because the injury is on his throwing hand, he will miss a significant amount of time.

For now the Terriers will shake off the bad mojo from their first loss and get ready to face the Community School of Naples, whose team is coming to Moore Haven on Sept. 21.

“I think the fact that our last game was so close is enough motivation itself,” said Manin. “It wasn’t like when L.J. got injured they blew us out all of a sudden. A lot of the talk on that bus ride home was that even with our quarterback out, we still almost beat that team. So our kids are in good spirits right now. They want to play tomorrow. They want to go back and face Neumann in the playoffs; they want to play anyone they can. They’ve experienced a lot of winning, and that loss was motivation enough for them to work hard.”

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