Truman falls short at Columbia Battle

By Cameron Teague-Robinson The Columbia Daily Tribune
Posted: September 30, 2016 - 11:53 PM



The stage was set for one of the most memorable games in Battle’s football program.

The fans came dressed in all gray to honor assistant coach Jon Dinter, who died Sept. 20 after a bout with brain cancer. The student section was loud and active, as every school is on homecoming, for most of the night.

Battle’s football team was just hoping to add to its seven-game win streak, while Truman was hoping to end it.

Nobody knew they would be in attendance for game that featured 872 combined yards of total offense — 486 for Battle and 386 for Truman — or a 44-36 victory that gave Battle (7-0) its first overtime win in the program’s four-year history.

It was one for the ages.

Both offenses set the tone throughout the entire night. Neither had been stopped in the second half, and, after Truman (3-4) running back Dave Rivera tied the game at 36 with 7:53 left, the stage was set for the Spartans offense to win the game.

The Spartans drove 61 yards, and, on fourth-and-14, Brevinn Tyler launched a pass to the end zone to Xavier Johnson. The senior, who had his best game of the season with 85 yards and a touchdown, dropped the pass, falling to his knees in the process.

“I don’t drop a lot. I’m known as sticky hands,” Johnson said. “To know you could’ve iced the game was always a little football dream. We weren't nervous though.”

Now the pressure was on the Battle defense. Truman Coach Gregg Webb said his offense is capable of scoring on anybody, which it proved time and again Friday. Battle had to get its first stop since the 16-second mark of the second quarter.

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