For one of those minutes, though, the Bobcats could almost do no wrong -- and that was just enough to put Northeastern back in the win column.
The Bobcats ended their two-game losing streak with a 28-14 victory over New Oxford in the teams' YAIAA Division II opener Friday, a victory made possible largely by one critical second-quarter stretch.
That key juncture came with New Oxford holding a 7-6, second-quarter lead. With 11:16 to go in the half, Northeastern tailback Daniel Adams (141 rushing yards) put the Bobcats ahead with a 9-yard scoring run, his second of the night. An Alec Miller pass to Nick Yinger for the conversion pushed the Northeastern lead to 14-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bobcats pooched the kick high and short, and it fell into an open space between New Oxford players. Northeastern recovered to set up shop at the Colonial 27-yard line.
"Definitely a happy accident," Brown said about the pooch kick. "Our kickers had a soccer game tonight, so that's not even our kicker. It worked out well."
It only took one play for the Bobcats to strike. Miller lofted a pretty fade to Braheem Riley, who grabbed it in the left corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Miller and Yinger connected again for another two-point conversion, and the Bobcats found themselves ahead 22-7 in a matter of nine seconds.
"Their second score took the wind out of our sails a little bit," Thurston said. "That's just one of those things that we continue to fight. They revert back to hanging their heads."
The pace quieted down after the furious second-quarter stretch, with both teams missing opportunities on trips into opposing territory. New Oxford made its move early in the fourth quarter, putting together an 11-play, 53-yard drive that was strictly on the ground, at least until the end. Facing fourth-and-3, Anthony Lippy hit Aaron Zinneman with a 13-yard scoring strike off play-action. The score put New Oxford within 22-14 with 11:52 remaining.
"We told the kids at halftime if we moved the ball and made tackles, we would get right back in this game," Thurston said. "That proved that we were. We just couldn't get a stop."
Northeastern, dormant on offense since the first half, responded with a methodical nine-play, 56-yard drive that ended with Miller dashing into the end zone from 6 yards out. That made it 28-14 with 6:52 remaining, and a New Oxford offense that struggled with the pass -- the Colonials had 18 yards through the air -- didn't have the juice to mount another serious challenge.
Northeastern 6 16 0 6 -- 28
New Oxford 7 0 0 7 -- 14
NO -- Wesley Beans 3 run (Trey Parrish kick) 8:38.
Ne -- Daniel Adams 25 run (run failed) 3:49.
Ne -- Adams 5 run (Nick Yinger pass from Alec Miller) 11:16.
Ne -- Braheem Riley 27 pass from Miller (Yinger pass from Miller) 11:09.
NO -- Aaron Zinneman 13 pass from Anthony Lippy (Parrish kick) 11:52.
Ne -- Miller 6 run (pass failed) 6:52.
-- Ne -- NO
First downs -- 13 -- 12
Rushes-yards -- 38-259 -- 40-131
Passing -- 4-11-1- 2-11-0
Passing yards -- 40 -- 18
Total yards -- 299 -- 149
Punts -- 2-14.0 -- 3-37.3
Fumbles-lost -- 1-1 -- 1-0
Penalties-yards -- 5-30 -- 3-20
Rushing: Northeastern, Adams 18-141, Jordan Kearse 13-74, Yinger 4-28, Miller 3-16; New Oxford, Beans 19-87, Nick Slusser 12-49, Lippy 6-(-22), Keegan Romanoff 1-12, Matt Staub 1-3, Zinneman 1-2.
Passing: Northeastern, Miller 4-11-1-40, Robinson 0-2-1-0; New Oxford, Lippy 2-11-0-18.
Receiving: Northeastern, Riley 2-35, Chris Curry 1-3, Joe Beckhardt 1-2; New Oxford, Zinneman 1-13, Jacob Moringstar 1-5.