Hammer Tournament XIV – Wild Card 2nd Half
The only two teams in the Hammer Tournament with losing records continue their snooze-fest. The 3rd quarter is riddled with penalty after penalty after penalty. Both teams have more penalty yards than they do rushing yards. The crowd is clearly agitated as the 3rd quarter comes to a close.
NEO A&M 0, SWOSU 0
Near the middle of the 4th quarter a NEO A&M running back gains 20 yards and sets up NEO A&M’s second opportunity to kick a field goal. Gasps of frustration reign down from the stands as the kick is hooked.
SWOSU doesn’t fare much better as SWOSU decides to go for it on 4th and 3 from NEO A&M’s 20. The quarterback sneak is read by the defense and sacked as regulation comes to an end with the score still scoreless.
NEO A&M 0, SWOSU 0
Since there hasn’t been overtime in the Hammer Tournament since 2012 now is clearly the time to explain it. Overtime in the Hammer Tournament is basically like playing 1 additional quarter. The “5th Quarter” will have a 15 minute clock; each team will be given 2 time outs; and whoever leads the game at the end wins. It’s really just that simple.
Since SWOSU called the coin toss to begin regulation NEO A&M will call it. NEO A&M calls heads, the coin shows heads. NEO A&M will get the ball to start overtime.
This crowd has been frustrated at the level of play thus far but everyone is on pins and needles as SWOSU kicks off the ball. The NEO A&M kickoff returner clearly makes a bad call as he catches the ball in the end zone and accidentally steps over the goal line and then steps back in just as a SWOSU defender nails him. That’s a safety. Early in this overtime game SWOSU takes an early lead and gets the ball.
NEO A&M 0, SWOSU 2
NOW the crowd is fired up. SWOSU fans are cheering and NEO A&M fans are booing.
SWOSU gets the ball and drives the length of the field only to fumble it away to NEO A&M on the 5 yard line. NEO A&M then responds by driving the length of the field and scores.
NEO A&M 6, SWOSU 2
The extra point is no good and we have a 4 point ball game. A ton of time was run off the clock and now SWOSU has the ball with less than 5 minutes remaining.
NEO A&M 7, SWOSU 2
SWOSU is looking to pull a repeat of the Wild Card game from a year ago when they defeated NEO A&M 5 to 0 at Weatherford.
The first play of a potentially game winning drive is a 20 yard pass to the 40 yard line. 4:30 remaining and SWOSU only has half a field to work with.
3 plays later SWOSU crosses the 50 yard line with another 1st down.
1st down again as the SWOSU quarterback hits a wide open receiver as SWOSU now stands on the NEO A&M 35 yard line.
2:00 remaining and it’s 2nd and 5 from the 30 as NEO A&M calls time out to slow down this SWOSU offense.
After the time out the SWOSU quarterback drops way back in the pocket and heaves it into the end zone. The ball is tipped and there is no catch as the clock now shows 1:45 remaining.
SWOSU sets up a screen and gains another 1st down. It is 1st and 10 from the NEO A&M 25 with 1:15 remaining.
Another time out by NEO A&M, their last, as they try anything to slow down this SWOSU offense.
3 plays and 45 seconds later SWOSU is standing on the NEO A&M 5 yard line with 1st and goal and 2 time outs remaining.
It’s a nearly intercepted pass that falls incomplete. Time-out SWOSU. SWOSU needs to score and NEO A&M needs to hold.
It’s a run up the middle for a gain of 4 yards.
It is now 3rd and goal from the 1 yard line and SWOSU burns their last time out.
The clock is showing 15 seconds remaining.
SWOSU’s offense lines up in the power-I formation and pushes forward trying to gain that last yard. The running back is stopped at the 1 foot line.
The clock is still running and SWOSU is out of time outs and needs to hurry.
7 seconds on the clock and SWOSU doesn’t dare substitute a player.
6 seconds the offensive line is still getting into position.
5 seconds the SWOSU quarter back lines up under center.
4 seconds he drops back into shotgun and splits the back field.
3 seconds the quarterback takes the snap and he and the full back charge forward. It’s a wishbone. The quarterback flips the ball to the fullback just as an NEO A&M lineman grabs the ball in mid air. INTERCEPTION! NEO A&M has intercepted the ball with 1 second left on the clock. The clock reads zero as the NEO A&M player crosses the 20, he’s at the 30, he’s at the 40, he’s at the 50. There is nothing but green grass in front of him as he runs it 99 and 2/3 yards into the end zone. NEO A&M wins.
NEO A&M 12, SWOSU 2
What started out as one of the most boring games in Hammer Tournament history has ended as one of the most thrilling overtime games in Hammer Tournament history. NEO A&M will advance to play #1 Central Missouri in the 2nd of 2 Semifinal games. Be sure to check out tomorrow for the 1st half between #2 Oklahoma and #3 Kansas City. Two teams that have never meet before in the Hammer Tournament.