BANKS - In a football game filled with strange calls, turnovers and a few very anxious moments in the fourth quarter, the Cowapa League's upset of the night took place in Banks, where the Braves managed to hold off Astoria in a thriller at Kelly Field, 18-10.

Banks rallied from an early 7-0 deficit with 18 unanswered points, then held off an improbable Astoria rally in the late stages to pick up the victory.

The Braves picked up three first downs on their first series, before Astoria had back-to-back sacks on quarterback Gabe Linehan to force a change of possession.

And the Fishermen offense - under the direction of sophomore Ian Erickson - wasted no time in establishing control, as they marched 65 yards in eight plays, capped by a 1-yard run from Tom Jaworski.

But Banks responded with a 9-yard, Linehan-to-Josh Marsh touchdown, and then a 95-yard drive later in the first half, with Nick Turner barreling in from one yard out to give the Braves a 12-7 halftime edge.

The second half turned into a defensive battle, and that's where the Braves came up big, with a fumble recovery deep in Astoria territory to start the fourth quarter, and an interception by Alden Bayless in the final minutes.

Banks took advantage of the fumble recovery as Linehan connected with Bayless on a slant pattern for a 7-yard score.

The Fishermen responded with a long sustained drive that resulted in a 24-yard field goal for Max Johnson, bringing Astoria to within eight points with just over four minutes remaining.

The Fishermen recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Bayless' interception halted the next Astoria drive.

Still, the Astoria defense forced the Braves to punt from their own end zone, and the Fish had one last possession, starting from the Banks 30-yard line.

Following two incomplete passes, Astoria's third quarterback of the night, Marcus Brown, hit Sam Johnson for a big gain to the Braves' 12-yard line with 30 seconds left.

But that's where the night would end for the Fishermen, who missed on three straight pass attempts before the clock ran out.


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