Perseverance is important in high school sports. The ultimate case in point came Friday night in Louisiana, where a Class 2A state semifinal was turned by an incomplete pass that wasn't.
As reported by the New Orleans Times Picayune and a variety of other Bayou sources, the Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian Academy and Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab School state quarterfinal football game was in full shootout mode, Evangel Christian trailing 26-23, when Evangel quarterback Dakota Duron attempted a third-quarter pass to Trent Taylor.
The pass appeared to fall incomplete, with Taylor first pulling in the pass and then feeling the ball slip out of his hands. That's when University Lab defensive back Jarrod Franklin picked up the loose ball and waited for a referee to come pick up the ball.
Instead, Taylor grabbed the ball away from Franklin, realizing that the officials had never whistled the play dead. Whether or not Taylor realized that the lack of a whistle meant that the play had been deemed a completed pass and fumble is unsure, but he certainly understood he was dealing with a live ball.
The run-after-fumble accounted for 70 rushing yards and a score for Taylor, who was a dominant factor in the tight contest. By game's end, the receiver had racked up 222 receiving yards and three touchdowns (including the post-fumble score), including the go-ahead touchdown that eventually earned Evangel Christian a win.
Eventually, Evangel Christian pulled out a wild, 52-45 victory, advancing to a state title game against John Curtis (La.) High. And the difference was one very unique touchdown on a play that everyone except Taylor thought was dead.