Football: Blackwell, Chichester pull off magical ‘dub’ on O’Hara

UPPER CHICHESTER — For what seemed like forever, the only score on a Thursday night filled with defense, hard hitting, leg cramps and penalties was a 40-yard field goal.

Jack McKinney drilled it with 6:22 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Cardinal O’Hara a seemingly insurmountable lead over Chichester in their non-league game at Apichella Memorial Field.

The Eagles were frustrated, but not finished. Senior Quadir Blackwell, who rushed for 155 yards, lined up at quarterback on a quarter-and-10 and found big, physical receiver Erskine Wilson for the first down, and a pair of broken tackles later a game-winning 31-yard touchdown. game with 53.5 seconds left.

It was the first touchdown of the season for the Eagles, and it would stand in a 7–3 Chi win. The Lions fell short on a final play from Chi’s 26-yard line, the ball almost intercepted. They are still looking for their first TD this year.

“I saw linebackers keep shooting,” Blackwell said. “So, we sent (Wilson) right behind the linebackers and I just threw the ball to him and he did the rest. This was a great victory. This was a Catholic school that we beat, and we doubted ourselves. We weren’t supposed to win this game, people said. And we get ahead.”

The Lions’ defensive backs were no match for Wilson, who had a big day with six catches for 80 yards before the catch and run that would give them that precious first “Dub-lu.” With just over a minute to go, Wilson visualized making the devastating play.

“I missed the pass earlier,” Wilson said. “I was a little depressed. The next play when he called it, he knew he was going to get it. We have that dubbing. I’m proud of the team, everyone. We had to get that dub. We couldn’t go 0-2 to start the season.”

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Blackwell’s throw offset a fumble into the end zone from the 2-yard line after a 45-yard run in the first half. Blackwell was hurtling toward the end zone when the Lions fumbled and recovered it.

“I was trying to get their arm stiff, and they hit the ball,” Blackwell said. “He was angry, but we got him back. We have dubbing.”

Like the Eagles (1-1), the Lions had their chances to put the ball in the end zone. For both teams it was one of those nights where an error here, a penalty there short-circuited those hopes. O’Hara had been shut out in his season opener while the Eagles managed just two points off safety.

“We played pretty good defense and we moved the ball on offense,” Lions coach Mike Ewing said. “We just couldn’t execute when it mattered. You can’t win that way. We got inside the 10 and didn’t hit it, and that’s my fault. Let’s learn from this. I told the children that we are going to see the movie tomorrow, we are going to learn from it and we are going to improve.”

McKinney’s field goal would have been nice from almost 50 yards. In the ensuing kick-off, Logan Maloney recovered his surprising short shot at 28 from Chi. The Lions didn’t get any points off the possession.

Early in the game, John Welde connected with John Shelton III to complete 49 yards, the longest play of the night. Later in the contest, McKinney had a 40-yard field goal attempt blocked by Ethan Swinton. It just wasn’t Lions night.

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“We were still in the game until there was less than a minute left,” Ewing said. “Obviously we wanted more than three points. But that was enough to win until the last minute. Defensively we collapsed. It’s just that this is a tough question, for sure. We’ll be fine.

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