CAMP WALKER, South Korea — The Cardiac Kids did it again.
In a season filled with historic firsts and memorable comeback victories, the Daegu American Warriors added to their growing legend.
Running back Antoine "Flash" Feagin rushed for three touchdowns and scored the game-winning two-point conversion in overtime to help the Warriors escape the upset-minded Osan American Cougars 30-28 at Kelly Field on Friday night.
"When I crossed the goal line to score the game-winner, I could taste Zama," Feagin said of the Warriors’ next task, Saturday’s Class A title game at 2 p.m. against Zama American of Japan. "I am proud of my blockers who make my job easier."
It’s Daegu’s second Class A title-game host berth in three seasons, coupled with the Warriors’ first DODEA Korea league title and first season sweep of Seoul American in school history. But for Warriors coach Ken Walter, Friday’s game even topped all that.
"This was the greatest game I have ever seen in my life," Walter said. "It had rallies, heart-stopping goal-line defense stops in the end zone and an electric home crowd."
It didn’t start out that way, appearing to be a one-sided affair as the Cougars were stymied and punished by Feagin on offense and linebacker Anthony Lampman on defense and fell behind 16-0 in the first half.
Daegu (6-1 overall, 5-1 league) struck first on quarterback Trey Griffen’s 10-yard scoring scamper. Feagin bulldozed in for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
Feagin, who finished with 15 carries for 68 yards, scored on a 7-yard run and again found the end zone for the two point conversion and a seemingly safe 16-0 cushion with :48 left in the second quarter.
"We are glad to have him on our team," said Warriors wideout Josh Gosserand, who caught seven passes for 51 yards, rushed for 43, and had seven tackles and an interception. "He’s been an inspiration for our team to continue to do what we are doing this year."
The Cougars bounced back in the second half behind a punishing rushing attack featuring Julius Johnson (109 yards), fullback Michael Gilliam, and quarterback Paul Snead.
Gilliam finished Osan’s opening drive in the third quarter with a 1-yard run and followed with the two-point conversion. Snead scored on an 8-yard dash to knot it and end the quarter.
"We fought back to make it a game," Osan coach Mike Miano said. "I am proud of the way my team played out there. We couldn’t get much going in the first half, but were able to get it together in the second half."
"They were finally able to find open seams in our defense," said Lampman, who had a team-leading nine tackles. Osan ran for 113 yards in the third quarter.
Gilliam suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and that seemed to dampen the Cougars’ hopes of defeating the Warriors, who have won most of their games in dramatic fashion.
Feagin scored from 12 yards out to give the Warriors a 22-16 lead early in the final period. Snead countered with a 5-yard touchdown with 6:47 left in the game.
Overtime followed, and Osan forged a short-lived lead when Johnson scored a short touchdown run on the Cougars’ overtime series. But Osan failed on the two-point conversion try.
On Daegu’s overtime series, Feagin took the handoff from the 10-yard line and scored to tie it. Seconds later, he took the handoff again and found the end zone on the two-point try, earning a date with Zama American.
"I am proud of this program and hope we can become the new Seoul of the Korean league," Walter said. "We only won twice last year so this is a great accomplishment for us."