Trailing Timberline 33-29 with 33 seconds left in the game, Bonney Lake High’s Jason Day made the only play call he could on fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line on Friday night at Sunset Chev Stadium.
He called a timeout.
“I saw that (the Blazers) were going to bring the entire house,” said Day of what he told Bonney Lake coach Jason Silbaugh during the timeout. “I told (Silbaugh) we could get a pass off and that I trusted my teammates to make the catch.”
Lining up in the same formation — the muddle huddle — that led to a successful two-point conversion try earlier in the half, instead of the Panthers trying to plow through the Blazers defense, Day stepped up to the line and made a jump pass to Riley Teed in back of the end zone, just over the outstretched hands of Timberline defensive back Jordan Ferrer, giving Bonney Lake a late 36-33 lead after a successful extra point.
“I tried to make a Tebow-style jump throw on the play, and Riley made a good read and catch to get him into the right spot,” Day said.
Timberline had 29 seconds left when it took over on the ensuing possession, but on the Blazers’ first pass attempt, Teed sealed the win with an interception — his second of the game.
“Riley really stepped up big for us on both sides of the ball,” Day said.
Bonney Lake (1-1) went into the half with a 12-point deficit, 19-7, as Timberline (1-1) put together three unanswered scores.
The Panther team coming out in the second half, however, was vastly different than the one that went into the locker room at halftime.
“I told the guys that they had the same talent that we have on our roster,” Silbaugh said. “We still had a chance to win the game, we just needed to execute better.”
Marcus Hamilton started the rally with a 12-yard TD run, and was followed by Adam Fahsel’s interception return for a touchdown, which pushed the Panthers’ lead to 22-19.
Timberline return man Tariq Romain put the Blazers back on top with a 70-yard return, his second return for a touchdown in the game. However, Romain was flagged for taunting as he crossed the goal line, giving Bonney Lake good field position on the kickoff.
The Panthers didn’t let that opportunity go to waste as Hamilton ripped off a 33-yard run on the first play of the drive, setting up the offense with a first-and-goal from the 4. A couple of plays later, Day finished off the drive with a 1-yard run, pushing the lead to 29-26.
After Timberline’s Michael Barnes scored on a 15-yard wide receiver screen to put the Blazers back on top, Bonney Lake answered with a quick drive to set up Day’s game-winning throw to Teed.
“The guys didn’t give up, and fought for every yard in the second half,” Silbaugh said. “They showed a lot of heart to be able to come back and get this win.”
Bonney Lake opens up 3A PCL league play when it travels to Mount Tahoma (2-0) on Friday (Sept. 16).