Last Friday, the St. Paul’s Wolves varsity football team defeated the Edna Karr High School Cougars, a defending class 4A state-finalist, 26-25 in a nail-biter.
Late in the fourth quarter, with Karr leading 25-20, junior quarterback Kenny Sears and three different receivers stepped up and made big plays. First, junior Domnic Davenport caught a short pass and took it up the sideline up to around midfield. Then, on third and long, sophomore TJ Bedford caught a pass, side-stepped his defender, and took the ball 34 yards to inside the ten to set up a first-and-goal. However, the Wolves failed to get into the end zone on the following three plays and found themselves facing a fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line.
Sears took the snap and lofted the ball towards the back corner of the end zone, where it was caught by sophomore Matt Meyers. The Wolves failed to complete the two-point conversion that would have extended their lead to three. So, the Wolves kicked off up one point with seven seconds remaining. The Wolves forced the Karr returner out of bounds near midfield as the last second ticked off the clock to secure the win.
“We got to the point when it was the last play in the game, and we had to convert no matter what,” said Sears, as reported by nola.com.
The Wolves’ first score of the game came in the first quarter after senior Tre’Maine Chatman recovered a fumble at Karr’s 25-yard line. Junior Mason Hebert capped the drive, punching it in from two yards out to give the Wolves a 7-0 lead.
After punts by both teams, Junior Deonte’ Sorapuru picked up an errant Karr snap and returned it for what appeared to be a touchdown, but the score was nullified by a block-in-the-back penalty against the Wolves. The Wolves took possession at the Karr 25-yard line, and a few plays later, Sears hit Hebert on a 14-yard touchdown pass to give the Wolves a 14-0 lead.
The Cougars scored a touchdown to cut the Wolves’ lead to 14-6, and Meyers returned the ensuing kickoff to around midfield, giving the Wolves great field position. Then, Sears hit senior Jalen McCleskey for a 31-yard gain to set up a field goal attempt for the Wolves. Sophomore Austin Means converted the field goal to extend the Wolves’ lead to 17-6.
The Cougars answered with another touchdown that cut the Wolves’ lead to 17-12 before halftime.
The Wolves opened the second half with an onside kick, which was recovered by Senior Cade Cowen and lead to another Means field goal, which gave the Wolves a 20-12 lead. However, the Cougars came back, scoring two touchdowns to take a 25-20 lead before the Wolves’ game-winning drive.
The Wolves next game will be the next edition of the Battle of the Blues rivalry at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, at Hunter Stadium. The Wolves defeated the Jesuit Blue Jays 24-21 in their meeting last year.