Gomez was nervous before the snap but he did as he had been coached — stayed focused and kept his head down. Gomez, who was jarred on a second quarter extra point, didn’t look up until the ball was in the air. Then he saw it sail between the uprights.
“I got a little bit injured (earlier). The injury went away,” Gomez said.
White Plains forced a punt for a final opportunity to score, taking over at the Weaver 45-yard line with 2:51 to go. A 17-yard gain by senior quarterback Konner Amis on a scramble and Amis’ 22-yard pass completion to senior running back C.J. Burns were the big plays of the drive. The pass came on a fourth-and-11 call.
The field goal spoiled a second half comeback by Weaver, which trailed 28-20 at halftime, led by senior running back Quinnata (Toot) Jones. Jones rushed for 314 yards and all four Weaver touchdowns on 39 carries.
The Bearcats did nothing to stop White Plains in the first half. The Wildcats scored on each of their first four possessions and were on the move again when the first half ended.
At intermission, the Bearcats got a stern lecture from first-year coach Daryl Hamby and some defensive adjustments. Weaver went from its standard 3-4 alignment to a five-man front “to keep them off our linebackers so they could make plays,” Hamby said.
The White Plains offense earned 15 first downs in the first half but made only four after intermission. Two of those came on the drive that culminated in the winning field goal.
Weaver opened the second half scoring with a 26-yard field goal by Santiago Balma with 4:32 left in the third quarter.
The Bearcats’ defense set up the go-ahead touchdown with two stops on fourth-and-inches, taking over on downs at the White Plains 27. On the next play, Jones blasted his way around right end, breaking two tackles then cutting back into the middle of the field to score standing up. Weaver led 29-28 with 7:01 to play. The crucial attempt at a 2-point conversion, another run around right end by Jones, was stopped short.
The first half was almost perfection for White Plains. Burns rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and caught a 45-yard touchdown pass of the Wildcats’ first offensive play. Amis was 5-of-6 passing for 133 yards and two touchdowns. The second scoring pass went to senior Kyle Bowen and covered 36 yards. Burns finished with 23 carries and 167 yards. Amis added three completions for another 59 yards in the second half and ended with 86 yards rushing and 192 yards passing.
The development of the Wildcats’ offensive line, a work in progress last week, was even more impressive.
Juniors Zach Burgess and Casey Miller, sophomores Al Edison and Adam Smith and eighth-grader Rod Young made things happen up front for the Wildcats, particularly in the first 24 minutes.
“We knew if we had good technique we could block them,” White Plains coach Heath Harmon said, praising his linemen for holding their blocks.
After White Plains took at 7-0 lead on the Amis-to-Burns touchdown pass and the first of Gomez’s four extra points, Jones scored on a 10-yard run and Balma tied it for Weaver. Amis followed with his 36-yard strike to Bowen before Jones answered for Weaver with a 39-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. This time Balma’s kick hit the upright and bounced back.
The next two White Plains touchdowns came on runs of 33 yards and nine yards by Burns. With the Wildcats up 28-13, Jones carried the ball all nine times on a 52-yard drive, scoring on a 2-yard run that completed the first half touchdown parade.