The London High School JV football team traveled to Whitehall Saturday, Sept. 9 and grabbed a miracle comeback victory over the Rams 24-14.
London donated a pair of touchdowns to Whitehall early, when the Red fumbled away a punt return to the Rams at the Raiders 29-yard line. Whitehall ran one play for a touchdown and lead 6-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders fumbled away the ball again deep in their own territory, this time at their own 20-yard line. Three plays later the Red Raiders were looking up at a 14-0 deficit. On the third possession of the game London was intercepted after a short drive. On the last play of the half, Thaddeus Huffman tackled a Ram running back in the end zone for a safety putting London on the scoreboard 14-2.
At the midpoint of the fourth quarter new quarterback, Logan Minner, hit his cousin Ethan Minner, the starting quarterback, with an 11-yard touchdown pass. Logan Minner added the 2-point conversion and the Red trailed 14-10 with 4:00 minutes to go.
The Raiders defense held forcing the Rams to punt. London took possession at its own 32-yard line with just 1:31 left in the game.
On third-and-10, Whitehall was given a 15-yard penalty which gave London new life. On the next play Logan Minner was sacked, and the future looked dim with the clock under one minute.
Logan Minner then launched a long pass that was hauled in by Caleb Sollars, who raced 68 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Ethan Minner caught the 2-point conversion pass and the Red led 18-14.
On Whitehall’s next possession, Jack Minner, the third cousin, separated a Ram back from the ball, and a mad scramble ensued near the Whitehall 20-yard line. When the scrum was over, Colton Cleaver had the lineman’s dream, as he cradled the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point was no good and the final score was set at 24-14.
The London rushing offense was nonexistent, but Logan Minner passed for 95 yards in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns. Ethan Minner and Sollars had touchdown receptions. The London defense had the two highlight plays by Huffman (safety) and Cleaver (touchdown recovery) for eight points. Richie Geib led the team in tackles with eight, including three for losses. Huffman, Saif Ullah and Logan Minner had five tackles each.
The Raiders JV is now 2-0 and travels to Columbus Academy Saturday, Sept. 16.
Jim Smith is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.