Hilton Head Christian Academy overcame a scoreless first half to rally from a 14-point deficit and stun host Bethesda Academy 27-21 in overtime Friday in Savannah.
Eagles star JP Peduzzi sat out all of regulation to nurse an injury, but he came off the bench to haul in a 30-yard heave to the end zone — Jace Blackshear’s fourth TD pass of the night — to give HHCA a walk-off win in overtime.
Peduzzi’s unlikely heroics were set up by a big defensive play — one of many the Eagles came up with in the second half. The Blazers got the ball first in overtime, but Riley Shinn picked off Antjuan McKay to put HHCA back on offense and set up the dramatic game-winner.
The Blazers’ defense also made their share of big plays to contain a potent HHCA attack, even without Peduzzi. Bethesda led 14-0 at halftime with the aid of a muffed punt inside the HHCA 10, but Blackshear and the Eagles regrouped after halftime. Blackshear hit Jackson Lanier for a touchdown to get HHCA on the board, but the Blazers answered to regain the two-touchdown advantage.
A long touchdown pass from Blackshear to Isaiah Anderson cut the deficit in half, and Blackshear found Shinn for the tying score to force overtime.
Even on the winning sequence in overtime, the Blazers forced an incompletion and sacked Blackshear to give the Eagles third-and-20 from the 30, but it wasn’t enough.
Playing only the final two plays of the game, Peduzzi streaked up the right sideline, and Blackshear stepped up in the pocket and threw a strike that dropped in right over the defender’s head and into Peduzzi’s waiting arms in the back of the end zone.
William Newton and Troy Chisolm led the defensive effort for the Eagles, while JP Wilder came up with 2.5 sacks to help contain McKay and a dangerous Bethesda offense.
HHCA (6-0, 1-0) returns to region play Friday, hosting John Paul II.