GREENSBORO - Adrian Slade hadn't played quarterback for Dudley at all leading up to the final minute of Friday night's game against Southeast Guilford, but he was ready when his team needed him.
Slade filled in for an injured Richard Hayes and completed four passes, including the winning touchdown pass to Demetrius McCorkle with 17 seconds remaining, to lead the Panthers to a 20-17 Metro 4-A Conference victory over the Falcons.
"I'm usually the backup quarterback so I knew what to do," Slade said. "I just had to make my reads and get the guys the ball. (On the touchdown) I saw the linebacker go to the outside so I knew Demetrius would be open, I just had to get him the ball."
The winning score capped a frenetic final four minutes.
Southeast (6-2, 2-1) had possessed the ball for most of the final period and appeared headed for a game-clinching score, but Dudley forced the Falcons' Derrick Biggs to fumble near the Dudley 10-yard line. The Panthers recovered it to begin the final drive.
"I don't know who recovered it, I'm just glad we got it," said Dudley coach Stephen Davis. "This was huge because now we go to Western, and they always play us tough, but if we win, we are 4-0 in the conference and play Page here two weeks from today."
After Southeast jumped out to a 17-6 halftime lead, Davis said his team was not out of it. He said once the Panthers made some corrections to their defensive alignment, they did a much better job of stopping the Falcons' running game and ended up shutting them out in the second half.
Dudley (3-4, 3-0) scored on its first possession of the third quarter on a 65-yard pass from Hayes to McCorkle to quickly cut the lead to 17-14. Then Dudley's defense gave the offense a chance to win it late.
"Once we got that touchdown early in the third, they had a lot of pressure on them," Davis said. "I still thought we had a chance."
The Panthers started the final drive at their own 12 and with Hayes and running back Keenon Sharpe muscling their way through the Southeast defense, they were quickly across midfield. But after Hayes picked up a tough 10 yards on a third down he went out with a shoulder injury and in came Slade. He completed his first pass, missed the next two, but then found Sharpe for a 14-yard gain on 4th and four to keep the drive alive.
No. 7 SE Guilford 17
SEG - Derrick Biggs 25 run (kick blocked)
D - Brandon Reynolds 19 pass from Richard Hayes (kick failed)
SEG - Biggs 30 run (Jamal Petty pass from Will Greene)
SEG - Chris Chancellor FG 35
D - Demetrius McCorkle 65 pass from Hayes (Kennon Sharpe run)
D - McCorkle 3 pass from Adrian Slade (pass failed)