No matter the signal the officials made at either end of the goal line, one team was going to be despondent. The other side, jubilant.
By ZACHARY SPAIN
Special to The Star
But it was that moment of uncertainty that hushed the crowd at Bishop Miege and sent both sidelines creeping onto the field waiting for the verdict in Friday’s Kansas 5A quarterfinal.
With the wave of arms, it was Bishop Miege that stormed the field, and Blue Valley West left imploring the officials as the players ran off the field, or throwing their helmets to the ground.
In the final play of the game, Miege stuffed Jaguars quarterback Ryan Ralston at the goal line on a game-deciding 2-point conversion try in double overtime, sending the Stags to the Kansas 5A semifinals with the 38-37 victory.
“We knew we were in for a battle,” first-year Miege coach Jon Holmes said. “We knew it would be tight. That’s how it’s been all season.”
And it was a pair of Miege miscues that set up the do-or-die moment.
After BV West’s Ralston scored on a 1-yard run, the Jaguars lined up for a point-after try. A Stags player got an early jump offside, negating a block of Troy Burgett’s kick. Then after a Miege timeout, the Stags jumped offside again, moving the ball to the 1-yard line.
BV West coach Scott Wright decided to go for the win behind his 6-foot-4 quarterback.
“The ball’s (practically) on the 3-inch line, there’s not even a decision to make there,” Wright said.
One side was elated, the other angry. Moments after the game, Wright was ready to let it go. He wouldn’t even look at the film of the goal-line stand, he said.
“It looked like our quarterback was laying in the end zone,” he said. “But this is high school football, coaches make mistakes, players make mistakes. (Miege) played their butts off.”
BV West, the No. 3 seed in the East, had to storm back from a 14-point deficit to tie the game and send it to overtime — a contrast to the Jaguars’ Oct. 4 win against the Stags, their Eastern Kansas League rivals.
In that game, the Stags, 6-5, rallied late but fell short, 41-34.
After the teams traded easy touchdowns in the first overtime on Friday — Conley Wilkins scored from 7 yards out for BV West, while Montell Cozart connected with Yale VanDyne for Miege — Cozart, a Kansas commitment, scored on a 1-yard run.
The Stags had a chance to stop Ralston on the fourth-and-goal at the 1 in double overtime but failed.
But they wouldn’t fail twice at the goal line twice.