There were multiple wild finishes in college football on Saturday (Auburn-Georgia and Central Florida-Temple, anyone?), but there was another conclusion in Utah high school football that belongs right alongside the best of the next level.
As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, Pine View (Utah) High topped Juan Diego Catholic High 48-42 in overtime thanks to a wild final play of regulation. With Juan Diego holding a 42-34 lead, Pine View quarterback Kody Wilstead dropped back and threw a deep pass to receiver Tristan Duran, who was heading into triple coverage.
Somehow Duran came out with the ball and then slipped between the grasp of all three Juan Diego defenders, racing downfield and hurdling a final would-be tackler before reaching the end zone and collapsing.
When Duran scored there was one second remaining on the clock, but Pine View still needed a successful two-point conversion to force overtime. The Panthers went to the air again, with Wilstead connecting with Jack Bangerter to tie the game. From there, Pine View scored a final touchdown on another pass from Wilstead, this time to a sliding Colton Miller, to earn the victory and a spot in the Class 3AA state finals.
After the game, Pine View coach Eric Hosner admitted taking a page out of New England coach Bill Belichick’s playbook to give his team a chance to tie the game. With Juan Diego driving and Pine View retaining just one timeout, Hosner told his team to let their opponents score a touchdown. Juan Diego complied with a 15-yard touchdown pass on the next play with just 1:32 remaining.
"I told our kids, 'Don't tackle them, let them score,'" Hosner told the Tribune. "I was like, 'Guys, if they don’t take a knee, you've got to carry them into the end zone — whatever you’ve got to do.'"
From there Wilstead’s heroics, Duran's 51-yard touchdown and a final act of overtime magic proved just enough to propel Pine View on to the state title game.
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