Tri-Valley quarterback Blake Cowden sets the Tri-Valley offense in Saturday's Class 2A playoff game at Downs. (Photo by Bryan Bloodworth/WJBC)
By Bryan Bloodworth
DOWNS - Eric Bryan's 33-yard field goal as time expired gave Annawan-Wethersfield a 16-13 victory over Tri-Valley in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs Saturday.
"What a great high school football game," said Tri-Valley coach Josh Roop. "That's what you play for, games like today and my hats off to them. They made a big play with no time on the clock."
Tri-Valley trailed after Micam Smith scored on a 1-yard run on a fourth-and goal play with 4:55 remaining in the first quarter. Smith set up the touchdown with a 64-yard gain that put the ball at the Tri-Valley 2. Bryan added the conmversion kick for a 7-0 Wethersfield lead.
Blake Cowden drew the Vikings even with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 9:58 mark of the second quarter and Aarron Tagala added the extra point kick.
Wethersfield moved back ahead, 13-7, by halftime as Smith scored on a 5-yard run with 4:58 left in the second quarter. The conversion kick failed after it was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Cowden tied the game again with 5:15 remaining on a 20-yard run, but the conversion kick failed setting the stage for Bryan's last-second heriocs.
"Both teams gave themselves a great opportunity to win this football game," said Roop. "There were a lot of huge plays made today by both teams. We had some penalties and different things that happen in a football game that prevented us from winning, but it wasn't a lack of effort."
Tri-Valley ended the season with a school-record 9-2 mark, while Wethersfield moved to 10-1.
"I wished for more," said Roop. "I'm disappointed for them, but not in any way am I disappointed in them. I couldn't have gotten more from a group of seniors than what we got out of this group. I can't say enough about them. They've left their mark on this program."
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at email@example.com