ACKERMAN – Apparently, Ackerman quarterback Dakota Brasher isn't into fairy tales.
Down 6-0 in overtime to Starkville Academy, the Indians' signal caller raced up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown run on fourth down, setting up an 8-6 Ackerman win.
The Volunteers, who lost 55-2 to the Indians a year ago, had their Cinderella story spoiled.
"I knew my line would open me up a hole and I'd have a clear lane to the end zone," said Brasher of his critical run. "All of us knew what we had to do and we got it done."
For four quarters, no one got much of anything done. Regulation ended in a scoreless tie.
Then, on the first play of the extra period, SA quarterback Kyle Henson connected with Ryan McKell on a 6-yard touchdown pass to give the Vols a 6-0 lead.
"I got chills when it happened," said Henson of the pass. "It meant so much. Then we turned it over to the defense and started counting down the plays. But we just lost it there at the end. They pushed one in. It's just indescribable how it feels."
After Henson's touchdown pass, SA kicker Will White's extra-point attempt was blocked, setting the stage for Brasher's heroics.
"It was the only call we had," said Ackerman head coach Adam Dillinger of Brasher's run. "That was the call that gave us the best chance to win."
First-year SA head coach Jeff Terrill praised Ackerman's adjustments to punch in the tying score.
"We had pretty much shut (Brasher) down from going outside," said Terrill. "They made a nice change, bringing the ball inside and we didn't do a good job of adjusting defensively to stop it."
Rather than set up for a PAT themselves, the Indians went for two and scored on a run by K.J. woods, ending a back-and-forth battle of defenses.
Ackerman fans watched large portions of the game in stunned silence.
Dillinger wasn't surprised at SA's grit at all.
"We watched (SA) on tape and they get after it," said Dillinger. "Coach Terrill has done a great job, (Henson) is a war daddy. He gets after it, plays hard and is a great leader for them. They're a lot better ball team than they were this time last year. And make no mistake about it, we're inexperienced. So I knew this game would be a battle."
Ackerman had a chance to end the game in regulation.
On the legs of Brasher, Ackerman drove from their own 38-yard line to the SA 9-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
The Indian offense stalled, turning the ball over on downs before SA ran out the clock's final few seconds.
In overtime, Terrill said the numbers game caught up to Starkville Academy.
"There's no doubt that we have too many kids that are having to play on both sides of the ball," said Terrill. "We had to dig in so and play defense that honestly, we didn't have the same spunk on offense because those guys had been battling on defense. Really the difference in the game to me was (Ackerman) out-numbered us."
Still Terrill was proud of his team.
"It feels good because of the effort that the kids gave," said Terrill. "It never feels good to lose, but we are proud of the effort. If you ever get to where it feels good to lose, then you won't ever win one."