GRANADA - Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman hadn't had a lead all game, but senior DaMarko Thomas scored from inside the 1-yard line in overtime to give the Jaguars a 56-50 Granada homecoming victory over the Randolph Rockets in a Southern Confederacy League football game on Friday night in Granada.
With 4:24 left in the game, Thomas - who ran 35 times for 269 yards and three touchdowns - intercepted a Rockets' pass on the 12-yard line and returned it for a touchdown to tie the game at 42-42.
The teams traded possessions, but neither one could drive to find the end zone, sending the game into overtime.
BREAKING THE PLANE — Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman’s Jake Wolter crosses the goal line on a run while getting hit by Randolph’s Collin Splichal during Southern Confederacy League football action Friday night in Granada. The Jaguars’ DaMarko Thomas (7) watches the play. Photo courtesy of Sue Petrowiak
ON THE RUN — Blue Earth Area flanker David Franta breaks free for a long gain as New Ulm’s Jackson Yackley (22) and Blake Neumann try to bring him down during South Central Conference football action Friday night at Johnson Field in New Ulm. Courtesy of the New Ulm Journal
Randolph had the ball first at the 10 in the overtime period, and quarterback Jake Dubbels found Max Stoesz in the middle of the field for the score. Dubbels ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 50-42.
On the Jaguars' possession, Chandler Greier hit Josh Johnson on third-and-goal from the 9 on a slant through the middle of the Rockets defense for the touchdown. Thomas ran in the conversion to knot the game at 50-50.
The Jaguars then had the first possession on the second set of downs, and from inside the 1, Thomas punched in the score to give GHEC/T its first lead of the game at 56-50.
Josh Johanson sealed the homecoming victory on the ensuing Rockets possession with an interception in the end zone on a Dubbels' pass attempt.
The Jaguars trailed 30-6 at halftime after the Rockets scored on a 44-yard punt return by Collin Splichal, a 20-yard pass from Dubbels to Stoesz, a 21-yard pass from Dubbels to Ryan Hoey and a 49-yard fumble recovery by Chris Feidt.
The lone Jaguars' score in the first half came on a 2-yard run by Jake Wolter with 8:02 left in the second quarter.
"Our first half was a disaster. It was all mental, the mistakes we were making and the blown coverages," said GHEC/T head coach Lee Dallager. "At halftime we talked about believing in what we have and playing like we are capable of."
GHEC/T got on the scoreboard first in the second half, carried by Thomas' legs. The Jaguar running back gave the offense a surge and broke for 30 yards on the opening play of the half. Thomas capped off the drive with a 5-yard run to cut the defecit 30-12.
On the Rockets' opening drive Dubbels found Sam Aune on a deep pass through the middle for the 38-yard touchdown to make it 36-12.
With 49.7 seconds on remaining in the third quarter Lucas Maday snared a pass from Greier and tip-toed his way into the endzone for the score. A Thomas 2-point conversion made it 36-20.
Dubbels scored the final Rockets touchdown in regulation on a four-yard run with 11:10 left in the fourth quarter to make it 42-20.
That was when the momentum suddenly shifted for the Jaguars.
Thomas scored the first of three GHEC/T touchdowns in fourth on a six-yard run, and then added a two-point conversion frun to make it 42-28.
On the next Jaguars' possession, Greier threw a perfectly placed sideline pass to Jeremy Smith for the 36-yard touchdown strike to make it 34-42 with 5:43 left in the game.
"The second was all on the players, we scored and everything just snowballed from there and we kept going," said Dallager. "Their confidence in what we have and their will to win won this game for us. I'll have to watch film to even see everything that happened. That was unbelieveable."
Greier completed 14 of 21 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns, while the Jaguar offense ran 49 times for 306 yards.
Smith caught five passes for the Jaguars for 92 yards. Along with Thomas, Wolter had 13 carries for 37 yards in the ground game.
Dubbels completed 13 of 21 passes for 259 yards, scoring four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Hoey caught three passes for 90 yards, while Stoesz caught four for 64 yards and Aune caught one for 62 yards.
Aune also led the Rockets on the ground, rushing for 57 yards on 10 carries.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman (1-3) hosts Cleveland in a Southern Confedarcy League game at 7 p.m. next Friday night in Truman.
Randolph (1-3) travels for a 7 p.m. game in Nicollet next Friday.
R 16 14 6 6 8 - 50
G/T 0 6 14 12 14 - 56
R - Collin Splichal 44 yard punt return (Max Stoesz pass from Jake Dubbels), 8:20.
R - Stoesz 20 yard pass from Dubbels (Stoesz pass from Dubbels), 3:25.
GHEC/T - Jake Wolter 2 run (pass fail), 8:02.
R - Ruan Hoey 21 yard pass from Dubbels (pass fail) 2:01.
R - Chris Feidt 49 yard fumble recovery (Dubbels run), 1:35.
GHEC/T - DaMarko Thomas 5 run (pass fail), 7:30.
R - Sam Aune 38 yard pass from Dubbels (pass fail), 4:49.
GHEC/T - Lucas Maday 6 yard pass from Chandler Greier (Thomas run), 49.7
R - Dubbels 4 run (run fail), 11:10.
GHEC/T - Thomas 6 run (Thomas run), 8:45.
GHEC/T - Jeremy Smith 64 yard pass from Greier (run fail), 5:43.
GHEC/T - Thomas 12 yard interception (Thomas run), 4:24.
R - Stoesz pass from Dubbels (Dubbels run).
GHEC/T - Josh Johanson 9 yard pass from Greier (Thomas run).
GHEC/T - Thomas 1 run (run fail).
First Downs: Randolph 27; GHEC/T 28. Rushing: R - 35-120; GHEC/T 49-306. Passing: R 13-21-2-259; GHECT/T 14-21-1-163. Fumbles-lost: R 2-1, GHEC/T 4-1. Penalties: R 4-45; GHEC/T 7-50.
Offense: Rushing: DaMarko Thomas (GHEC/T) 35-269; Sam Aune (R) 10-57; Jake Dubbels (R) 13-41; Jake Wolter 13-37; Collin Splichal (R) 12-22. Passing: Jake Dubbels (R)13-21-2-259; Chandler Greier (GHEC/T) 14-21-1-163. Receiving: Jeremy Smith (GHEC/T) 5-92; Ryan Hoey (R) 3-90; Max Stoesz (R) 4-64; Sam Aune (R) 1-62. Defense: Interceptions: Ryan Hoey (R), DaMarko Thomas (GHEC/T); Josh Johanson (GHEC/T).
Blue Earth Area 49, New Ulm 12 - The Class 3A, No. 2-ranked Bucs remained perfect on the season by coasting to a 49-12 South Central Conference rout over the Eagles on Friday night at Johnson Field in New Ulm.
Blue Earth Area (4-0, 1-0 SCC) quickly converted three of New Ulm's four first-quarter turnovers into points, building a 21-0 edge.
Gus Phillips delivered the Bucs' first two touchdowns on runs of 35 and 53 yards before scooping up an errant Eagles' pitch and returning it 16 yards for six more points.
Running back Carter Hanson contributed scoring runs of 4 and 52 yards for the high-octane Bucs' offensive attack.
Isaiah Johnson and Grant Kannegiesser generated fourth-quarter TDs for winless New Ulm (0-4, 0-2).
On the second play of the game, linebacker Kysten Zierke intercepted Eagle quarterback Chris Mulder's throw deep in New Ulm territory. On the ensuing play, David Franta bulled his way 26 yards for a Buc TD. Felix Harseim's PAT kick made it 7-0 at the 11:44 mark of the opening quarter.
Both team's exchanged turnovers before BEA's Justin Ritter fell on a New Ulm fumble. Three plays later, Hanson scored on a 4-yard run.
On the Eagles' fifth offensive series of the opening quarter, Mulder attempted a pitch that was caught in mid-air by Gus Phillips, who scampered 16 yards for the fourth Bucs' score of the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bucs managed just one score when Phillips broke lose for a 35-yard TDwith 52 seconds left in the first half and a 28-0 lead.
Phillips' 53-yard TD run on the first play of the third quarter increased the lead to 35-0.
Hanson's 3-yard scoring run and a 21-yard bolt by Calvin Sanders made it a 49-0 lead with 1:12 left in the third quarter.
Blue Earth Area (4-0, 2-0 SCC) plays host to Waseca at 7 p.m. next Friday night at Wilson Field in Blue Earth.
Gehlen Catholic 37, North Union 7 - The Jays scored 20 points in the first quarter en route to a 37-7 victory over the Warriors in Armstrong on Friday night.
Cody Runksmeier the only Warrior touchdown on a 1-yard run the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout. Runksmeier led the Warriors with 46 rushing yards on 12 carries and had two catches for 12 yards receiving along with an interception.
North Union's Ty Anderson carried the ball six times for 44 yards, while Marshall Klingenberg had 26 yards on three carries.
Jacob Braddock completed 5 of 12 passes for 31 yards for the Warriors.
Jake Adams led the defense with 10 solo and five assisted tackles.
North Union (1-4) hosts Pocahontas Area at 7 p.m. next Friday in Armstrong.
Melrose Area 39, Martin County West 14 - The Dutchmen scored twice in the fourth quarter to edge the Mavericks, 39-14, on Friday in Sherburn.
Maverick quarterback Jake Faber led the offense with 37 yards rushing on six carries, and completed 10 of 19 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Cordell Weber led the Mavericks with one catch for 60 yards, while Brandon Poppe had one catch for 58 yards and one touchdown.
MCW wide receiver Mitch Sitzman ran four times for 40 yards and had six catches for 51 yards and one touchdown.
Melrose quarterback Luke Peterson completed 11 of 18 passes for 87 yards and one TD to go with eight rushes for 57 yards.
Trevor Sawyer ran the ball 22 times for 162 yards, while Aaron Snyder ran it 11 times for 93 yards for Melrose.
Martin County West (2-2) travels for a 7 p.m. game against Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop next Friday night in Winthrop.