PHOTO: Page tailback Quincy Brock-Compton fights for extra yardage on Friday, October 19, 2018.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY RUSSELL VANNOZZI
Page holder Michael Burdick had a few calming words for kicker Chase Tidmore as the two prepared for a potential game-winner in overtime.
“I was just like, ‘We do this every day in practice,’” Burdick said. “It’s just you, me, the ball and the goal posts.”
Tidmore narrowly missed a 48-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter, and Patriots eventually went to overtime with Region 5-5A foe Shelbyville (7-2).
But this time around, Tidmore drilled a 23-yard attempt right down the middle, giving Page a 20-17 victory and its first region championship since 1999.
“It was an emotional ride,” Tidmore said. “They say what makes a great kicker is being able to make the next kick after missing. I was nervous, but we made it through.”
— Russell Vannozzi (@RussellV_74) October 20, 2018
The Patriot defense was able to contain Shelbyville quarterback Grayson Tramel, who entered the evening with 25 touchdowns and nearly 2,000 passing yards. His main highlight was a 45-yard touchdown strike to Arius Trice in the second quarter.
Burdick and Brady Buckley each intercepted Trammel, and the Patriots recovered two Shelbyville fumbles. Tramel still managed to throw for 314 yards on 21-of-40 passing despite the four turnovers.
“Our game plan was to focus on [Tramel] and where the receivers were going to be,” Burdick said. “Their receiving corps is one of the best we’ve ever seen, but we’ve got great [defensive backs].”
Tidmore opened the scoring with a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter, before Shelbyville tailback Gary Smith III found pay dirt on a three-yard rush.
With 2:32 remaining in the first quarter, Page quarterback Cade Walker hit Burdick for an 80-yard touchdown pass.
“I’ve said it [before] and I’ll say it every week: somebody needs to give [Burdick] a chance at the next level,” Rathbone said. “You talk about a high-character, hard-working kid that is just a coach’s dream. That’s what Michael is.”
Walker later scored on a QB keeper to give Page a 17-14 halftime lead.
Neither team scored again until Shelbyville’s Dalton Corley connected on a 32-yard field goal to knot the score at 17 with 7:02 left to play.
“Both defenses made adjustments,” Rathbone said. “Our offense didn’t do a good enough job of adjusting back. But a win is a win is a win.”
Burdick broke up a Tramel pass in the end zone to force Shelbyville to kick a field goal in overtime, but Corley pushed it wide right to set up Tidmore’s walk-off.
“Chase has waited his turn behind [current Tennessee kicker Brent] Cimaglia and those guys the last couple years,” Rathbone said. “He’s learned from the best, he’s kicking well and he’s got a leg on him.”
Walker finished with 200 passing yards, while Quincy Brock-Compton (9 carries, 67 yards) and Jackson Satterfield (12 carries, 42 yards) led the Patriots on the ground. Trice had 12 catches and 191 yards for the Golden Eagles.
Page will travel to Columbia (4-5) to cap the regular season next Friday. The TSSAA playoffs begin Nov. 2.