YORKVILLE - An incomplete pass will never be looked at in the same light again after those final seconds of the Buckeye Local-Harrison Central clash Friday night at Memorial Stadium in Yorkville.
Buckeye Local had battled back to regain a 20-19 lead with just 1:45 remaining, was then assessed a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff that gave the visiting Huskies possession near midfield.
A Rasheen Mitchell to Nick Pelegreen pass and a 12-yard run by Mitchell was putting Harrison Central in line for some late game heroics.
Harrison Central’s Jonah Moore (6) can’t get a handle on a late pass in the end zone as Buckeye Local’s Austin Marshall defends.
Two sterling defensive plays by Buckeye Local's Devan Pyciak and Dakota Flaherty added to the excitement. With the Huskies left with a fourth down, no time outs and 36 yards of soggy Panther turf between them and the end zone time on the clock for just one play.
Taking the snap, Mitchell glided to his left then fired a pass toward the end zone. Seconds turned to minutes as joy and sorrow gripped both sets of bleachers for just a fleeting second as the pass first fell into the hands of a Panthers defender, then slipped into the hands of a Huskies receiver. But in the end, that ball fell to the ground and Buckeye Local celebrated a thrilling 20-19 victory to win the first VALES Trophy.
Josten Dear closed his career with 114 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries for the Panthers.
Maurtice Hython led Harrison Central with 177 yards and two touchdowns.