|Young Indians hold on for wild 70-69 victory|
|2011-10-27 By Terry Gaston|
|Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen Minatare sophomore Bradley Metcalf (right) turns up field for a gain against Maywood in the teams’ game Friday night at Platte Valley Field in Minatare. Metcalf rushed for 310 yards and h|
|MINATARE -- If Friday night's football season finale between a pair of 2-5 teams at Platte Valley Field wasn't supposed to mean anything, someone forgot to tell the host Minatare Indians and visiting Maywood Tigers.|
Even with no Six-Man Coaches Association state playoff berths at stake for the winner, Minatare sophomore Bradley Metcalf ran for 310 yards and four touchdowns, caught two TD passes for 96 yards and had an interception, leading the young Indians' 70-69 shootout victory.
"Metcalf is just a freak athlete," Minatare coach Gene Russel said. "He understands how to play the game and that's just amazing what he did tonight."
Maywood, on the other hand, was far from discouraged in spite of trailing 70-47 with 8:08 remaining, following Metcalf's final, 18-yard touchdown run.
The Tigers ran the ensuing kickoff 46 yards for a score -- and their second kickoff returned for a TD in the second half -- then turned defensive by stopping Minatare on four plays and scoring on a 17-yard pass from senior Stefan Peterson to junior Aaron Doxon.
All of a sudden, in just four minutes, the Tigers were within nine of the Indians, who had led by as many as 26 in the first half. But a botched kick hold turned pass attempt failed on Maywood's extra-point try, leaving the Tigers still two scores down with 4:08 remaining.
One of Minatare's biggest plays of the night might have come as a result of one of six-man's unique rules where even the center -- in this case, Minatare Tylor Grumbles -- is an eligible receiver.
The Indians, still clinging to their 70-61 lead, faced fourth down and 6 from the Maywood 29-yard line with 2:38 remaining when Indians senior Nate Garcia connected with Grumbles for a 9-yard gain.
The Tigers thus had to burn its final two time outs afterward, and although Minatare did not convert the first down into a score, Maywood had just 1:05 left with no clock stoppages.
The Tigers scored on a 60-yard pass play from Peterson to classmate Levi White with 44 seconds left, but the ensuing onside kick stopped short of the needed 10 yards and Garcia took two kneel-downs to exhaust the clock for the Indians' one-point win.
"We let them back in the game, but the best thing is we finished off with a win," Russel said. "To see the guys persevere like that really made me pleased."
Metcalf averaged exactly 10 yards per carry with his 31 attempts for 310 yards. He scored on Minatare's second play, a 40-yarder, and caught a 40-yard pass from Garcia late in the first quarter, giving the Indians a 22-6 lead.
The second quarter was a 44-point shootout. After Garcia scored on a 9-yard run early in the second period, he connected with Metcalf on a 56-yard pass play for a 38-20 Minatare lead.
Metcalf ran 65 yards for another score, giving the Indians their biggest lead at 46-20 with still 46 seconds left in the first half. Maywood answered with a late TD run to close the halftime margin to 20.
The third quarter saw the teams combine for another 39 points, with Garcia scoring on a 13-yard rush, freshman Tyler Koke returning an interception 69 yards for a TD and Metcalf racing 46 yards for another run, giving the Indians a 64-47 lead heading into the final quarter.
Garcia played much of the second half injured, but Russel said he didn't expect one of his two seniors -- the other, Richard Mitchell -- to walk off until the final horn sounded.
"Nate knew this was probably one of his last games and he wanted to stay in there, no matter what," Russel said of Garcia, who ran 17 times for 70 yards and one score and completed 7 of 13 passes for 147 yards and three TDs -- the first to junior Jorge Montelongo for 10 yards and a 16-0 lead.
"Nate and Richard paved the way for the new Minatare. We started three freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and one senior. We're coming back with a salty team next year."
Minatare outgained Maywood 517 yards to 288. Peterson completed six passes for 69 yards and two TDs but had three interceptions, and he ran 21 times for 135 yards and three scores.
"It was an ugly win but a win is still a win," Russel told his players in the postgame huddle. "But when adversity struck, we struck right back."
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