Armstrong edges Latrobe in double overtime

Friday, October 6, 2017 | 11:30 PM

Facing a virtual must-win Class 5A Big East 9 Conference game Friday night on the perfectly-manicured turf at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium, Armstrong kept alive its postseason hopes with a thrilling 38-37 double-overtime win over the host Latrobe Wildcats.

Trailing 24-17 with 2 minutes, 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Armstrong quarterback Dawson Porter led the River Hawks on an 88-yard, 14-play drive, with Zac Steiner booting a game-tying, 19-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.

In the first overtime, Latrobe took a 31-24 lead when Iven Etienne scored on a 2-yard pass from Jason Armstrong, but the River Hawks tied the game when Porter connected with Isaiah Price on a 6-yard touchdown pass.

In the second overtime, Armstrong's Tanner Stivason scored his fourth touchdown of the night, on a 10-yard shovel pass from Porter. Steiner added the point after to make it 38-31.

On the next possession, Etienne scored on a run from the 2-yard line, but a mishandled snap on the attempted point-after led to an incomplete desperation pass.

Armstrong (4-3, 2-3) was led by Porer, who completed 19 of 28 passes for three touchdowns, and Stivason, who caught nine passes for 105 yards.

For the Wildcats (2-5, 1-4), Armstrong completed 15 of 21 passes for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Etienne scored three touchdowns on runs of 3 and 2 yards, and on a 33-yard pass from Armstrong.

“This is a tough loss,” Latrobe coach Jason Marucca said. “I'm pleased with our effort, but we still have three games remaining. Armstrong made the plays on that final drive in regulation and the bad snap obviously hurt.”

Armstrong coach Fran Fabian referred to the win as “typical of this blue-collar team.”

“That's been our mantra all season,” he said. “This was not necessarily a must win, but at this time of the year they are all must wins. I'm proud of the way we came back at the end of regulation. I can't say enough about Dawson (Porter). He injured his thigh but came back for that final drive. We work on that two-minute drill every day and our practice all season paid off tonight.”

Les Harvath is a freelance writer.

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