Pavel Dzemianok / For the Boston Globe
With its two best wide receivers out with injuries, Latin Academy’s junior quarterback Kyle Dance was forced to take matters into his own hands against South Boston at Saunders Stadium on Friday afternoon.
After Latin Academy gave up 20 fourth-quarter points, Dance scored a 10-yard touchdown run to give the Dragons the 26-20 overtime victory.
And Dance had a bloody lip to show for it.
“My helmet came off and they came up and hit me,” Dance, who finished the game 2 of 7 passing for 82 yards, said of his winning touchdown run. “We had a good start in the first half and then we came out slow in the second half which wasn’t very good. We kind of gave up points that we shouldn’t have.”
The Knights (0-1), who were led by backup quarterback Hakeine Walcott’s 111-passing yards, had the first opportunity in the extra session but fumbled the ball away. Walcott also returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown to put his team down a 20-14 with 7:05 to play in the game.
After the Walcott's interception, Latin Academy (1-0) drove the ball all the way down to the South Boston 15 before losing the ball on downs.
Then, South Boston junior wide receiver Pannell Davis (109 yards receiving) made up for an earlier pass he dropped in the end zone by converting a 60-yard touchdown pass from Walcott. The score tied the game at 20.
“I was nervous, I was scared I was not going to do good but I kept my mind in the game,” said Walcott, who was given the nod under center earlier in the day because starting quarterback Sean Hunter was benched for disciplinary reasons.
“It’s a hard loss. Very hard loss but we’ll get there.”
Dance, who finished with 56 yards rushing, took the ball into his own hands at the end of the first half too, ripping off a 30-yard run that took the Dragons down to the South Boston 13-yard-line. Four plays later he powered his way into the end zone on a 1-yard run. Dance also ran in the 2-point conversion to give his squad an 8-0 lead with 1:10 left in the opening half.
In the opening drive of the second half, the Dragons got what seemed like a security touchdown on a 24-yard screen pass to go up 14-0. After a 12-yard pass from Dance to Kellough was called back on a penalty, the duo hooked up on the next play for a 28-yard pass that brought the Dragons down to South Boston’s 24.
The screen pass came on the next play but at first it looked like a nonstarter. Kellough leaped and bobbled the high pass before romping for the 24-yard score.
The Dragons took a 20-0 lead after Kellough (107 yards rushing) ran for a 60 yard touchdown.
The Knights fourth-quarter comeback started with Bless Anedoadzi’s 32 touchdown run. Walcott ran in the two point conversion to put his team down 20-8.
“Truthfully, that’s the way we’ve been practicing, at times we have great practices and at times we have let downs,” Latin Academy Coach Rocco Zizza said of the final quarter. “We looked great for the first three quarters and we had a letdown for the fourth. So again, we practice like we play.”
In the end, Dance was the difference.
“He’s a dangerous kid,” Zizza said, “and I’m glad he’s playing for us.”
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