Gresch Jensen said the athletic trainers wanted to tape his ankle.
This was after the Auburn Mountainview quarterback, who doubles as the Lions’ starting defensive back laid curled on the turf for about five minutes following a Lakes turnover on downs he helped orchestrate to get his team the ball back with 2 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in the game.
He missed one offensive play, but limped back on and led the Lions down the field — eventually finding Vaughn Daggs across the middle on fourth-and-goal from the 5 for the game-winning touchdown with 53.5 seconds to play as No. 9 Auburn Mountainview stunned No. 4 Lakes, 46-42, on Friday at Harry Lang Stadium.
Jensen completed passes of nine, 17, 25 and eight yards on that final drive — all while taking some shots and looking progressively hobbled.
This was a game Auburn Mountainview (5-1) had once trailed, 35-14.
“I can’t even believe it,” Gervais said. “(Jensen) made a great read, a great throw and a great catch (by Daggs). I was pumped. There’s no other way around it. That was so cool.
“That is an absolute testament to Gresch. It reminded me of when Byron Leftwich was getting carried down the field at Marshall. He would do that for us. He’s that kind of kid.”
Lakes didn’t score in the second half after leading 42-28 at halftime.
The game changed when the Lancers (5-1) drove to the 8-yard line with less than a minute remaining in the first half, but turned the ball over on downs.
Two plays later Jensen, a University of Montana commit, connected with Gavin Robertson, an Arizona commit who missed last week serving a suspension after being ejected against Sumner, and Robertson ran 92 yards for the touchdown with 29.4 seconds remaining in the half.
It was the longest pass play in school history.
AMV then came out on the opening possession of the third quarter and scored on Jensen’s eight-yard run to cut the lead to 42-34.
An interception led to another AMV touchdown — an 8-yard pass from Jensen to Ryan Lacey. But the Lions didn’t get the two-point conversion and trailed 42-40.
The Lancers’ Melvin Miller intercepted Jensen at the Lakes 4 that set up a seven-minute drive. It ended when Yisrael Stephens was stopped a yard short on fourth-and-3 from the Lions 42 with 2:59 to play.
Jensen threw back-to-back incomplete passes on the Lakes 5 to set up fourth-and-goal. A field goal would have given AMV the lead, but Gervais decided to trust Jensen and go for it.
“He called a great play and it worked, I guess,” said Jensen, who Gervais said had initially told him that they should go for the field goal. “That was pretty gutsy.”
Lakes had one last chance with 11.9 second to go at the Lions 41. But Jaiave Magalei’s desperation pass fell incomplete in the end zone as the clock expired. Magalei threw four touchdown passes — three to Ricardo McLean — in the first half.
Lakes coach Dave Miller said he noticed his team’s demeanor change following the halftime break.
“I think our guys maybe thought they had it won. It seemed like our guys stopped playing the way they played to build that lead,” Miller said. “They have great athletes and a great quarterback and you have got to play for 48 minutes.
“But credit to those guys. This was a playoff-intensity game. Two top-10 teams in the state going at it there. They just got one more play than we did.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
No. 9 AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW
No. 4 LAKES
L – Ricardo McLean 24 pass from Jaiave Magalei (Kevin Lee kick)
L – McLean 11 pass from Magalei (Lee kick)
A – Gavin Roberton 7 pass from Gresch Jensen (Antonio Corea kick)
L – Dedrian Milligan 43 pass from Magalei (Lee kick)
L – Andrew Bostic 50 run (Lee kick)
A – Bitner Wilson 3 run (Jaime Huizar kick)
L – McLean 44 pass from Magalei (Lee kick)
A – Ki’jan Weisinger 30 pass from Jensen (Huizar kick)
L – Bostic 9 run (Lee kick)
A – Robertson 92 pass from Jensen (Huizar kick)
A – Jensen 8 run (kick failed)
A – Weisinger 8 pass from Jensen (pass failed)
A – Vaughn Daggs 5 pass from Jensen (pass failed)
RUSHING — Auburn Mountainview: Bitner Wilson 12-64, TD; Gresch Jensen 12-64, TD. Lakes: Andrew Bostic 15-149, 2 TD; Yisrael Stephens 10-37.
PASSING — Auburn Mountainview: Gresch Jensen 26-46-2-388, 5 TDs. Lakes: Jaiave Magalei 9-17-1-246, 4 TDs.
RECEIVING — Auburn Mountainview: Gavin Robertson 4-108, 2 TD; Ryan Lacey 6-84, Ki’jan Weisinger 6-73, 2 TD; Bitner Wilson 5-64; Vaughn Daggs 5-59. Lakes: Ricardo McLean 3-79, 3 TDs; Cale Lindsay 3-99.