By Stephen Boyle - firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICKSBURG -- Jacob Armell's gloves are lime green. He likes that they stick out against Stonewall Jackson's red and black jerseys.
On Friday night against Page County, it wasn't his gloves that made the senior stand out in a 15-12 win. It was his play.
Armell wouldn't let the Generals lose their Homecoming game. Stonewall was outgained by more than 100 yards and managed just five first downs to Page County's 17, but the Generals came away with their second win of the season.
"We scored 15 points and he was responsible for 12 of them," Generals coach Dick Krol said of Armell's performance. "I'd say that's pretty big."
Armell's two touchdowns weren't goal line runs, either. The senior had two huge plays to get his team into the end zone. In the third quarter, with Stonewall trailing 6-0 thanks to an 18-yard Allen Basnight touchdown run, Armell was a defensive back in the quarters formation. There were two receivers in the zone he was responsible for, but when Panthers quarterback Daniel Gray locked onto a receiver with his eyes, Armell jumped the slant route and returned the interception 53 yards for the Generals' first touchdown of the game.
"It's pretty amazing," Armell said after the win. "I had a good game."
His big plays didn't stop in the third quarter. Page County responded to Armell's score with a seven-play touchdown drive that ended on a 4-yard quarterback sneak by Gray on fourth down. A failed two-point conversion made the score 12-7 with less than six minutes to go.
That's when Krol made a change. He took out freshman quarterback Nathan Miller, who rushed for 11 yards, in favor of junior Daniel Buhl. Prior to injuring his leg in the preseason, Buhl was expected to start behind center for Stonewall Jackson, but he's still getting back into football shape.
Krol downplayed the move, pointing out that he put in someone who was expected to play when his offense couldn't get anything going anyways, but Armell thought the move was made because the Generals would need to air it out to complete a comeback.
"He's our passer," explained Armell.
The move didn't pay off immediately, as Buhl's first four passes were incomplete and Stonewall went three-and-out on its first possession after Page County's go-ahead touchdown, but Buhl kept his head up.
"You just got to be calm and have confidence in yourself," he said. "Just go out there and good things will happen."
The next time the Generals got the ball, Buhl found Armell on a 13-yard pass for the Generals' fourth first down of the game. Two plays later he threw it up for Armell, who was in single coverage along the left sideline.
"It was a little sketchy in the air," Armell said of the pass. "I was just hoping for the best."
The best is what Stonewall's homecoming crowd got to see. Armell came down with the ball 15 yards past the line of scrimmage and ran it all the way into the end zone, breaking a tackle around the 30-yard-line on his way. The play went for 76 total yards, 61 of which were Armell running after the catch.
"That should've never happened," said Krol. "They should've been ready, they knew that's what we had to do."
"It was a tough loss," said Panthers Coach Joey Soltis. "We don't want this to affect these next two opportunities we have. It's a 48-minute game and we won 47 minutes of it."
Armell's game-winning touchdown made the score 13-12 and a pass from Buhl to Jared Getz secured the two-point conversion to make the final score 15-12.