The Maize South Mavericks were not predicted to win against the No. 4 Goddard Lions —in anyone’s book.
But that’s something they’re used to.
“Coming into this game we were really underrated. Every game thus far we were supposed to lose, but we don’t pay attention to that,” senior offensive lineman Cole Chapman said. “We knew they were 5-1, and we respected their game … But we have a lot of heart on this team and a lot of playmakers.”
The Mavericks won 23-22 in a double overtime, picking up their fourth straight victory.
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At the end of the third quarter, the Mavericks were sitting comfortable with a 16-0 lead. Senior running back Cory Minks had just run the ball in for a 68-yard touchdown.
But once the fourth quarter rolled around, Goddard decided to give Maize South a run for their money.
Sophomore quarterback Kyler Semrad found junior wide receiver Carter Morrow for a touchdown to get the Lions’ on the board for the first time.
Maize South failed to make progress offensively for the remainder of the fourth quarter, allowing Goddard to catch up after another Lions touchdown and field goal.
The game went to overtime, but neither Goddard nor Maize South scored on their first attempts.
In the second overtime, Goddard started with the ball and instantly got the touchdown.
But Mavericks junior defensive lineman Calvin Benefiel blocked Goddard’s extra-point kick, leaving Maize South with an opportunity to win the game.
During Maize South’s second play on the possession, Minks ran the ball in for a touchdown. And junior Ethan Wiens made the extra point for the 23-22 OT win.
“The emotions were super high the entire game,” Minks said. “Honestly, I think this team is amazing, even the younger guys — they really step up and they believe in us when we’re down. Everyone from the stands to the students to even the team and coaches they believe in us.”
Maize south head coach Brent Pfeifer said the team’s emotions were up and down the entire game.
“The team’s grit was like a roller coaster,” Pfeifer said. “We came out and played so well for the first half. Then the third quarter we had some injuries, and it kind of got the team down a little bit, but we fought back again fourth quarter.”
Maize South’s dedicated the victory to a Maize South student, Maddy Rodell, who is battling lymphoma.
Rodell was supposed to attend the game, but her treatment held her up in Texas.
“This is a game and it’s a blast to be a part of, but she’s battling really hard in Houston,” Pfeifer said. “It’s really nice, every day in practice we take a second to talk about her after practice and remind ourselves that we’re out here having a lot of fun together, but we can’t wait for her to get healthy and get back here and celebrate with us.”
Maize South also raised $900 for Rodell in a 2-minute drive during halftime. The players take time to pray for Rodell every practice, but they wanted to dedicate the entire game to her so that everyone to take part in the dedication.
“We play and pray for her all the time,” Minks said. “She’s working her butt off and trying to beat everything that she’s beating … she is a hard fighter.”