Sometimes a team needs more than a creative offensive game plan and stout defensive performance to get a win. Sometimes it just needs some luck.
That certainly appears to have been the case in California, where Paradise (Calif.) High eventually emerged on top of Enterprise (Calif.) High, 42-41 in overtime. There were dozens of moments of offensive fireworks that contributed to the final scoreline, but none may have been more important than one incredibly fortuitous bounce that helped give Paradise a key third-quarter touchdown that set the stage for the final period and overtime to come.
As you can see in the video above, Paradise was facing a third-and-8 from its own 35-yard line when quarterback Tom Hays dropped back and surveyed the field for any glimpse of an open receiver. Eventually, he caught sight of senior receiver Johnny Porter, who had gained a step on his defender downfield.
Hays let fly with a pass under pressure, but his ball didn't appear to have the arm strength to get to Porter, who was quickly advancing through the teeth of the Enterprise defense. Fortunately for Paradise, the pass would get an unexpected helping hand from Enterprise defensive back Brock Barr, who tried to intercept the pass but couldn't handle the ball.
Instead, the pass ricocheted back out into the open, where Porter was waiting for it with open arms. He was still too far downfield to pull in the pass cleanly, but the senior receiver was able to get one hand on the ball, and that was all he needed to set up a catch and run to the end zone, with Porter eluding two dramatic attempts at tackles as he sprinted toward the right sideline and, eventually, a touchdown.
Porter's remarkable one-handed grab wasn't the last offensive firework show of the game, with both teams trading scoring drives en route to a 35-35 deadlock after 48 minutes.
Paradise would eventually emerge victorious thanks to a failed two-point attempt by Enterprise in overtime (you have to give the school credit for having the gumption to go for two with the game on the line, even if it didn't work out), but Paradise never would have been in that position if it weren't for earlier heroics from Porter, who picked the right time to channel his inner Spider-Man and grab hold of a lucky pass that found him in just the right place at just the right time.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football