It came down to the last play.
By RYAN McCARTHY
Special to The Star
With Friday night’s game riding on a 46-yard field goal attempt by Blue Valley West, Bishop Miege pushed through the line and swatted away the Jaguars’ last chance of snatching victory.
With a game between two high-scoring offenses anticipated it ended up being the Stags defense and special teams did enough for them to pull off the 21-19 win at home.
“We told them it was there game to win and that’s exactly what they did for us,” Bishop Miege coach Jon Holmes said.
With sloppy play and penalties to start, Blue Valley West opened up its early lead when quarterback Ryan Ralston scored ran in it from 9 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Both defenses held the game without any scores for most the time.
However, Bishop Miege quarterback Nolan Gray connected with Jeffrey Martin for 44 yards tying the game 7-7 with 22 seconds remaining in the half.
Gray was filling the shoes of junior Ryan Willis, the leading EKL passer, who was out with a concussion.
“It’s a lot different than JV, but once we start to get it rolling it’s just a football game,” Gray said.
In the second half, Blue Valley West took the lead when Troy Burgett converted a 29-yard field goal to give the Jaguars a 10-7 lead.
The Stags countered quickly with a quick drive led by Gray.
After two lengthy runs, Gray threw his second touchdown of the night when Michael Murphy reached over the defender in front of him for the 29-yard touchdown giving the Stags a 14-10 lead.
Gray’s ability to run and pass helped Miege show a balance in their game.
“We spent a lot of time with him this week trying to change up our game plan a little bit,” Holmes said. “We told him he needed to make plays and that’s exactly what he did.”
Later in the quarter, the Stags offense continued to click. The Stags had no problem driving right down the field, which ended with a 22-yard run by Dawson Downing, making it 21-10.
The Jaguars added a field goal by Burgett again early in the fourth quarter making it a 21-13 game.
From there, Bishop Miege tried to run out the clock as much as possible, but a fumble by Gray gave Blue Valley West some late life.
The Jaguars took advantage of this opportunity when Ralston ran in his second touchdown from 2 yards out. Blue Valley West tried to convert a two-point conversion but was unsuccessful. Then came the last-second field goal attempt that was blocked.
The Stags hope Friday’s win is the first step to winning toward the state championship game after being runner-up last season.
“Our guys are going to be fired up to get there,” Holmes said. “A lot of the guys played in the game last year so hopefully we’ll be able to get back. It starts next week.”