Coates' field goal in OT lifts Perry to City League title
Perry kicker Cornelio Coates is also a student at the Creative and Performing Arts Academy, specializing in percussion instruments.
Saturday afternoon in overtime, Coates drummed up a 27-field goal to lift the Commodores to the City League championship with a 9-6 victory over USO.
The win gave Perry its 17th City League title.
“I was out there trying to picture it, thinking about technique,” Coates said before his successful kick. “It's fun; I was given a chance to play here for the team. This is only my second year of playing football.”
“These kids earned this,” Commodores coach Bill Gallagher said of the win. “This is with a new group of kids. Our senior leadership has been tremendous each year.”
Despite the outcome, both City schools will continue their seasons on the state level.
Perry (8-2) will take next weekend off and enter the PIAA Class AAAA tournament Nov. 16 against McDowell at a site and time to be determined.
The USO Wildcats (5-3) will engage in a four-team, play-in tournament for a PIAA Class AAA berth starting next weekend against a school from PIAA District 5, 8, or 9 at a site and time to be determined.
USO had a chance to win the game in regulation. With less than a minute to go, Wildcats quarterback Akil Young hit Clay Moorefield for a 32-yard gain to the Perry 2.
After a 1-yard run, USO was socked with a motion penalty and a holding penalty to move the ball back to the Commodores' 18. Young was then sacked by Lloyd Reid, taking the Wildcats out of field goal range at the 35.
“I'm disappointed,” USO coach Lou Berry said about his team's 100 yards of penalties. “We talked about it all week in practice. We had pre-snap penalties, the holding penalties. You can't do that and expect to win a championship game.”
The game was scoreless for nearly three quarters.
Perry finally broke through with 1:34 left in the third period.
After a USO punt was partially blocked, the Commodores set up at the Wildcats' 33. From the USO 9, senior Robert Willie burst up the middle for a touchdown on a fullback trap.
Terrell Williams blocked the extra-point attempt, and Perry had to settle for a 6-0 lead.
Wildcats defensive back Marcus Jordan intercepted a Perry pass at the 44 and returned it to the Commodores' 8 with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter.
Two plays later, Ryan Daniels scored from 4 yards out.
USO looked ready to kick the extra point but decided to go for the two-point conversion. The pass failed.
USO, a combination of University Prep, Science and Technology and Obama Academy, was trying for its second City League title is as many years of existence.
George Guido is a freelance writer .