CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It sure didn't look good for Capital late in the fourth quarter at Laidley Field Friday night.
The Cougars trailed grind-it-out Princeton by eight points and their top playmaker, Kashuan Haley, kept dropping out of the lineup with cramps and other problems. That's how the ball wound up in the hands of freshman running back Silas Nazario, and that's how Nazario became the hero.
Nazario dashed across the goal line on a 2-point conversion in overtime, giving Capital a wild 29-28 victory over Princeton to remain unbeaten.
Capital (2-0), which trailed much of the way, was down 28-21 after the Tigers began the OT with a six-play burst, capped by an 11-yard touchdown run by Tahj Sho-Johnson. Earlier in the possession, Sho-Johnson converted a fourth-and-2 from the 12 with a 3-yard gain.
The alternating-possession format gave Capital the ball at the Princeton 20 with a chance to extend the game. Nazario got the possession started with a 15-yard dash to the 5, and quarterback Tyrhee Pratt rolled out on the next play and dived into the end zone to make it 28-27.
Instead of attempting a point-after kick to set up a second OT, Capital coach Jon Carpenter opted to go to his talented ninth-grader. Pratt took the snap in shotgun formation and darted to the right on an option play. Even before the defense closed, Pratt pitched to the trailing Nazario, who caught it and cut across the far right corner of the end zone for the winning points as the Cougars' bench erupted in celebration.
"I feel great,'' Nazario said. "They just kept telling me I could do it. They kept saying, 'You've just got to do it.' I didn't want to lose.
"At first, I was a little nervous. Then after that, I believed I could do it. The team believed in me, and I believed I could do it.''
Carpenter said he didn't hesitate to go for the win instead of possibly tying the game.
"Good players is what it was,'' Carpenter said. "There's no such thing as a good call. That's stupid. If we go for 2 and if we don't make it, everybody would have fired me. And I'd probably quit. That was stupid.
"But No. 5 [Nazario] had that glow about him -- him and [Pratt]. Just give it to those guys who score, and he scored. He's pretty good, ain't he? By God, that kid fights. He only weighs about 95 pounds, but he fights like a pit bull.''
Princeton (2-1) controlled the game for long stretches, like a 15-play march in the second quarter that chewed 8:24 off the clock and tied the game at 7 at halftime. That drive limited Capital to five snaps in the second quarter.