Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer
Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer
ERIE — The rising star that is Erie running back Mason Veve did more of the spectacular Friday night.
Three touchdowns. Two forced turnovers.
It just wasn’t enough.
On a wild and brutally cold night at Tiger Stadium, Veve’s kick return TD, forced fumble, last-minute rushing score and final-seconds-of-regulation interception somehow couldn’t propel the Tigers to victory in a 38-32 double-overtime loss to Windsor.
They had a chance to win things in regulation, then overtime, but failed to kick three straight PATs in their demise.
In regulation, Veve tied the game at 26 on an 8-yard run with 1 minute, 15 seconds remaining. Erie had managed to plunge to a first down on a fourth-and-3 at the 12 moments before. And on the next play, Veve took a direct snap and scored his third TD of the night, his second of the fourth quarter.
The go-ahead PAT was blocked, though, leaving a standstill.
In OT — with teams starting at the 10 in high school — Windsor (3-0, 2-0 4A Northern 1) and Erie (2-1, 1-1) traded touchdowns on their opening possessions. But with both teams struggling to kick, the Wizards went for 2 and missed. The Tigers — after Caleb Theisen scored his second TD thanks to a give from Veve on fourth-and-goal from the 1 — saw their extra-point blocked.
Erie failed on downs on its second possession. Windsor scored the winner on a run.
Earlier, the Tigers opened the game with a bludgeoning scoring drive as cold as the rows of unused bleachers to the side of them, using 16 plays and taking nearly eight minutes off the clock to go up 7-0. Junior quarterback Alex Austin was sharp through the air, quite mobile in the pocket, completing each of his three throws on the drive while jolting to first downs on a pair of critical fourth downs. Theisen’s two-yard TD finished it off with 4:08 left in the quarter.
A football’s eternity, then to a zip.
After Windsor tied the game midway through the second, Veve punched back with a 99-yard TD on the ensuing kickoff. Scooping up a kick that plunked and froze dead near the pylon, Erie’s most dangerous man started right and made his way left, weaving through defenders before outlasting one last stretched arm to scamper in along the opposite sideline.
The Wizards answered again to make it 14-all on the back of a pair of Jake Coakley passes — one going 31 yards on a third-and-6, the other spinning 17 yards into the hands of Jaden Kennis in the back of the end zone. Coakley had attempted just eight throws, completing four, in his first two games.
Veve, coming into Week 3 as the state’s second-leading rusher with 460 yards on 18 attempts, had another 154 yards on the ground and tied the game with a powerful run early in the fourth. He also forced a fumble on the Wizards’ opening drive of the second half and picked off a pass with 27 seconds left in regulation.
The Tigers, like the Wizards, were left on the outside of the top 10 in the latest CHSAANow.com poll despite a pair of landslide wins through the first two weeks. Both will have three more games to establish a solid postseason resume in hopes of making the Class 4A eight-team bracket.
Erie has an official away game against Brighton next week, but according to the school’s broadcast it’ll take place at Tiger stadium due to COVID-19 developments in Adams County. Windsor is at Silver Creek.