In the huddle before the biggest play of the game, Bermudian Springs running back Ashton West had a simple message for his offensive line.
The Eagles were trailing Delone Catholic 17-14 in the game's second overtime. Only four yards away from the winning touchdown, they weren't about to get fancy.
"I was just telling my line, 'please block, please block,'" West said. "We were all tired, but I knew that play would work."
West turned out to be right. With the guys up front giving him the necessary push, the junior plunged into the end zone for his second score of the game, giving the Eagles a dramatic 20-17 victory.
It may have been Delone Catholic's homecoming, but it was the Eagles who ended up celebrating after the Squires failed to finish off a game that was certainly winnable.
There were plenty of missed chances by the Squires, but the biggest came at the end of regulation. Following a 9-yard touchdown by Bermudian Springs' Devon Hodgen with a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Squires quickly went down the field. Quarterback Brian Shermeyer hit Larry Lefler and Dylan Hartlaub with big passes, putting the ball at the Eagles' 15-yard line with 30 seconds remaining.
A pair of runs moved the ball to the 10, but a back-breaking intentional grounding penalty moved the ball out of field goal range and Shermeyer's last-ditch pass was intercepted, sending the game to overtime.
Both teams failed to take advantage in the first extra period, with the Eagles losing their second fumble of the game on their possession and the Squires going backwards on theirs.
With his team's possession having ended so poorly, Bermudian Springs head coach Jon DeFoe simply told his players to "move on the next play."
"We fumble, that looks pretty bleak at that point," Defoe said. "To make a stand there and push them back, our guys came out and made some plays and got it in the end zone."
Delone Catholic took a 17-14 lead on a 20-yard field goal by Brandon Hall in the second period, but West's touchdown that followed finally put an end to things.
Early on it didn't look like Bermudian Springs would keep it close, let alone get to overtime. The Squires went right down the field on their first possession, scoring on a 3-yard dive by Sean Sneeringer. Tavian Dorsey added a 49-yard touchdown burst on the first play of the second quarter, and the Squires had a 14-0 lead.
But the Eagles were able to flip the momentum of the game soon after that. Their defense bottled up the electric Dorsey, and mobile freshmen quarterback Chase Dull got the offense going enough to cut the lead to 14-7 at halftime.
Both defenses dominated the second half, and it wasn't until the very end that the Eagles were able to tie it.
"Afer [Dorsey's touchdown] I thought we played some pretty good defense," DeFoe said. "We only made one minor adjustment, but we started playing harder and making plays and making tackles. That second half is about as well as we've tackled all season."
Bermudian Springs07076—20Delone Catholic77003—17
DC — Sean Sneeringer, 3 run (6:52, Brandon Hall kick)
DC — Tavian Dorsey, 49 run (11:51, Hall kick)
BeS — Ashton West, 6 run (3:33, Noah Aeppli kick)
BeS — Devon Hodgen, 9 run (1:00, Aeppli kick)
DC — Brandon Hall, 20 field goal
BeS — West, 4 run
BeSDCFirst downs913Rushes-yards41-19139-157Passing3-5-110-16-2Passing yards44137Total yards235294Punts4-30.05-29.4Fumbles-lost3-21-1Penalties-yards1-52-20
Rushing — BeS, West 20-90, Chase Dull 11-66, Hodgen 8-23, Wheeler 2-12. DC, Dorsey 14-78, Sneeringer 11-32, Alec Maitland 4-20, Zach Hart 8-20, Brian Shermeyer 2-7.
Passing — BeS, Dull: 3-5-1-44. DC, Sheremyer 10-16-2-137.
Receiving — BeS, Tristan Hoke 1-10, Brandon Jackson 1-42, Hodgen 1-(-8). DC, Dorsey 3-30, Lefler 1-30, Noah Katz 3-35, Dylan Hartlaub 1-16 Hart 1-15, Sneeringer 1-11