Western Alamance Remains Undefeated with 40-34 OT Victory
By Kurt C. Ward
GREENSBORO – Sometimes the extra effort that players give in the offseason shows up at unexpected times.
At about 1 a.m. Saturday morning, Western Alamance seniors Kendall McKoy and Logan Smith connected on a four-yard touchdown-scoring pass to give the Warriors a 40-34 overtime victory over Northern Guilford.
The win capped an undefeated seven-game regular season for Western and finalized the undisputed Mid-State 3-A Conference Championship. With the win, the Warriors also secured the conference’s automatic bid to the state playoffs, which begin next Friday.
The game concluded in the early hours of Saturday morning because an area lightning storm halted play for more than three hours.
Both McKoy and Smith credited informal offseason practices at Elon University for making the final play possible.
“We put in so many hours at the Elon fields,” Smith explained. “We put in so many hours, and it is now paying off.”
McKoy agreed. “Logan and I put in the work in the offseason,” McKoy said. “During the pandemic, we went to Elon and ran routes. All of that work…this is what it is for.”
For the gamewinner, Smith made his way to the right side of the end zone, just beyond the goal line. There, McKoy hit him with a perfect strike.
For the game, McKoy completed 11 of 15 passes for 212 yards.
Smith pulled in six passes for 83 yards. Five of those completions came in the second half.
“I just can’t say enough about the fight and the heart of this team,” Western Coach Jeff Snuffer said. “These guys do not quit, and they proved that to everybody tonight.”
Trailing 34-26 with 1:31 to play in the third, Western fought back to tie the game. The Warriors (7-0 overall and 7-0 in the Mid-State 3-A) put together a 13-play, 62-yard drive that consumed about 6 ½ minutes of the game clock.
Senior running back Tyrone Slade carried the ball four times on the drive, including for a 1-yard surge to pull to within two points, 34-32.
McKoy then connected with Jordan Dumornay for the two-point conversion to tie the score, 34-34, with 7:02 to play.
On their final two possessions, the Nighthawks (5-2) turned the ball over on downs and were forced to punt.
Northern struggled to move the ball with consistency in the second half, after appearing to have the offensive answers in the first two quarters.
In the first half, Northern quarterback Will Lenard connected nine times for 83 yards with Terrell Timmons. The combination only worked once in the second half, however.
“We controlled our own fate with this one, and we just didn’t get it done,” said Lenard, who completed 22 of 34 passes for 192 yards. He was also intercepted twice by the Warrior defense. “As a kid you dream about this stuff. We had a chance to win it, and unfortunately we didn’t succeed. It was a great game to play in. Congrats to Western Alamance.”
Slade ended up being Western’s top offensive performer. He finished with 120 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. He also played on defense throughout the night and gave Lenard trouble from his linebacker spot.
Dumornay finished with 103 receiving yards on four catches, including a 59-yard TD catch and run.
The long delay came right after Northern Guilford tied the contest at 7-7 with 4:24 to ply in the first quarter. Slade said the delay was challenging, but he and his teammates focused on remaining hydrated and keeping their muscles loose.
The contest was tied on four occasions, including 34-34 at the end of regulation.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
Western Alamance 13 0 13 8 6 - 40
Northern Guilford 7 13 14 0 0 - 34
WA – Justin Kerr 28-yard interception return (Jacob Carter kick), 11:12 remaining in the first
NG – Terrell Timmons 30-yard pass from Will Lenard (Slater Ward kick), 4:24 remaining in the first.
WA – Jordan Dumornay 59-yard pass from Kendall McKoy (kick failed), 0:34 remaining in the first.
NG – Vance Bolyard 25-yard pass from Lenard (kick blocked), 9:52 remaining in the second.
NG – Timmons 12-yard pass from Lenard (Ward kick), 5:41 remaining in the second.
WA – Tyrone Slade 4-yard run (Carter kick), 5:36 remaining in the third.
NG – Jordan McGinnis 50-yard run (Ward kick), 5:08 remaining in the third.
WA – Slade 18-yard run (kicked failed), 1:49 remaining in the third.
NG – McGinnis 87-yard kick return (Ward kick), 1:31 remaining in the third.
WA – Slade 1-yard run (Dumornay pass from McKoy), 7:02 remaining in fourth
WA – Logan Smith 4-yard pass from McKoy, WA’s first overtime possession