Every player took a knee, and the coaches all thought about it, too.
The Antelope Titans, with a perfect season on the line, elected to go for the jugular – the win – and requested a bit of a team prayer to get that extra inch.
Elijah Dotson sprinted in for a 10-yard touchdown and Davaughn Silver won it with a run for a two-point conversion, bouncing off two would-be tacklers, and the No. 6 Titans escaped Elk Grove with a 42-41 victory over No. 14 Cosumnes Oaks in overtime on Friday night in a battle of newer programs still soaring.
It seemed fitting that it would come down to this, as the Capital Valley Conference has produced some of the region’s most frantic finishes. This time, it was Antelope’s turn, but coach Matt Ray didn’t want to drag this one well into the evening. So he called for a winning effort, and then bedlam.
“If we kept going back and forth, I don’t know if we could hold them off,” Ray said. “We were getting tired. We went for it.”
Dante Davis scored on a one-yard run in overtime for Cosumnes Oaks in a terrific meeting of unsung backs that featured wild twists and turns. R.J. Moorhouse’s extra point bounced off the crossbar and barely over.
Davis rushed for 148 yards and quarterback Maurice Hayden scored on runs of six and four yards for the Wolfpack, which dropped a tough 21-14 decision to Del Campo last week.
Antelope has as good a 1-2 running back tandem as you’ll find. Dotson runs with power and burst, which seems about right since his father, Robert Dotson, did a lot of that for Grant in 1992 in powering the Pacers to a Sac-Joaquin Section championship. Young Dotson rushed for 136 yards, and Silver scooted for 161 and scored on runs of two, 23 and 24 yards.
Silver looks even faster with the jet of hair snaking out of the back of his helmet.
“We call him ‘Jackrabbit,’ ” Ray said. “He’s a great complement to Dotson.”
And they work well with quarterback Montel Aaron. The recent Temple commit hit Davaeon Johnson for touchdown strikes of 44 and three yards.
Both schools opened in 2008, and both could have the best teams in program history.
Antelope (7-0, 4-0) has won league titles and playoff games, and now aims for a section championship. Cosumnes Oaks (4-3, 2-2) has a similar résumé. Both programs have had scores of athletes recruited to Division I, II and III programs. More are on the way.
Antelope is 4-0 against Elk Grove Unified School District teams this fall with strong showings against Monterey Trail (28-0), Sheldon (28-7), Laguna Creek (42-7) and fast, physical Cosumnes Oaks.
Aaron, Dotson and Silver carry the load, but the offensive line leads the charge. It consists of Zach Rickard, Tyrus Barnett, Lemuel Williams, Kyle Perkins and Jaelen Lewis, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle with 13 scholarship offers.
“It starts with those guys,” said Ray.