Cougars’ two-point conversion puts football team over the top

By Jeff Stahlhut

It’s pretty unusual for a team to go for a two-point conversion in the second quarter of a one point-game at any level — high school, college or pro.

So, a quick look at the box score of the high school football game between Affton and Principia last Saturday might confuse the average fan.

For that matter, it would probably confuse just about everyone who might wonder why a team like Affton — who has a quality kicker in Kyle Duffy — would score a second quarter touchdown to make the score 7-6 and then go for the two-point conversion.

It turns out the best way to understand why the Cougars would take such a risk would to have been there in person.

Those in attendance saw Affton cut the Principia lead to 7-6 on a seven-yard run by tailback Kornell Simmons, then proceed to line up for a two-point conversion in a formation known as “the swinging gate.”

In simple terms, this is the play when — in most cases — the center and quarterback are on one side of the field and the entire offensive line on the other.

As Affton Coach Dan Oliver put it, “You can catch a team off guard, and if they get confused you just take it.”


Oliver said the Cougars were ready to slide back out of that formation and kick the extra point had Principia lined up in a manner that would have allowed them to defend the play, but they didn’t.

So, as it happened, Simmons took the snap directly and ran in the two-point conversion to give Affton an 8-7 lead, and that was it for both teams in scoring on the day. Final score: Affton 8, Principia 7.

Oliver took the game — which was a lot closer than most thought it would be — in stride.

“Principia is a lot better than they were last year, and they played well enough to stay in the game,” he said. “Turnovers killed us and we didn’t execute as well as we would have liked, but it’s a win. We got a ‘W’ in the right column.”

Even so, Affton will look to cut down on mistakes this weekend against Pacific, and if they do so Oliver believes they should be all right.

“I’m confident in our ability to compete against them,” he said. “We had some young guys gain a lot of valuable experience against Principia, and that should help them in the future.”

The Cougars will once again look to Kornell Simmons to have a big game. Against Principia last week, Simmons ran the ball 30 times for 140 yards despite losing some fumbles.

“He’ll be fine,” Oliver told the Call. “He was running really well and hitting the holes.”

Affton and Pacific (0-1) will square off at 7 p.m. on Friday at Pacific High School, 425 Indian Warpath.