Hornet season ends with 16-14 loss in round two
With less than ten seconds remaining in the game and a 14-8 lead over the Wetumka Chieftains Friday, the Depew defense was one play away from closing out a goal line stand and securing the Hornets a spot in the state Class B quarterfinals after an edge-of-the-seat, seesaw defensive battle.
In the end however, it was the Chieftains on top after a heartbreaking buzzer-beater touchdown pass that dashed the Hornet playoff hopes.
“It was definitely heart wrenching to lose that way. We were only three yards from a first down that would have allowed us to take a knee a few times to run out the clock,” said Hornet Head Coach Nick Hoover. “Our defense played solid for most of the game, containing their quarterback and forcing turnovers,including an interception by Tavin Hunt.”
The Chieftains drew first blood with a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth and 26, with 8:19 left in the second quarter. The PAT was good and the Chiefs were up 8-0.
With 1:28 left in the half,The Hornets got the ball back on downs and went to work.The Hornets had an answer with 47 seconds remaining in the half when senior quarterback Brody Parrick found senior wide receiver Kaleb Baize with a 27-yard touchdown pass.
The two-point P. A. T., a short pass from Parrick to Dakota Osburn, was good and the score was tied, 8-8, going into the half.
With defensive stops on both sides, the third quarter was looking like it was going to be scoreless until with 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Blake Stafford got the call and found the end zone from three yards out to put Depew on top. The P.A.T.failed and the Hornets held a precarious 14-8 lead over the Chieftains going into the final period.
“We just couldn't hardly get our offense going,” said Hoover. “When all was said and done Blake Stafford still had a big game with 127 yards rushing, a touchdown and a kickoff return to the Wetumka 25. Brody Parrick had 42 yards rushing and a touchdown pass to Kaleb Baize. He lofted another to Dakota Osburn for the two-point conversion.”
In the closing seconds of the game, the Hornets needed just three yards to get a first down, and with it,an opportunity to run out the clock, but they were stopped and turned the ball over on downs.
With seven seconds remaining, Wetumka quarterback Trever McGirt took the snap at the four yard line and dropped back to pass.Unable to find an open receiver, McGirt scrambled to his right as time expired and, under pressure from the Depew line, lobbed a high pass into the right corner of the end zone where Chieftain receiver Jacob Osborn went up and snatched it, coming down just inside the line for the tying score.
Wetumka ran a successful two point conversion, ending the Hornet season 16-14.
“We played a tough game and I'm very proud of my players for battling the way they did,” said Hoover. “Wetumka is a team that beat us at home earlier this year by three touchdowns. To be this close in the end shows how far we've come along, how our men have pulled together as a team. I'm sorry to see it end, but I'm pleased to see how well we played.”