If a team is facing a fourth down with just seconds left on the clock in a football game, doesn’t it always seem like the easiest way to seal the win would be to have the quarterback take the snap and just run around the backfield until time runs out? Well, one Virginia team tried that exact plan, and to say that things didn’t go as expected would be quite an understatement.
The video you see above chronicles the eventful final 6 seconds of a Northern Virginia playoff game between Briar Woods High (Ashburn) and North Stafford High (North Stafford). Briar Woods held a 27-19 lead and was facing a 4th-and-14 on North Stafford’s 35 yards line. Faced with the choice of punting the ball away or trying to run out the clock, Briar Woods decided on the latter.
That’s when Briar Woods’ problems started. Quarterback Trace McSorely took the snap cleanly enough, but as he tried to weave around in the backfield he was eventually dropped for a loss at the Briar Woods 42, some 22 yards farther back than he had snapped the ball. McSorely hitting the turf signaled a change of possession, which stopped the clock with exactly 2 seconds remaining.
Two seconds isn’t a lot of time, but it was just enough to give North Stafford one last shot at a Hail Mary to the end zone. Quarterback Jalen Sarratt made the most of that opportunity, sending a ball deep downfield to the right, where his entire receiving corps had gathered. He watched his pass get tipped up and directly into the hands of North Stafford’s Guy Keith inside the 2-yard-line. Once receiving the ball that close to the end zone, Keith was never going to be denied. He plunged ahead to cut his squad’s deficit to 27-25 with no time on the board.
Unfortunately for North Stafford, the fairy tale ended right then and there. Needing a two-point conversion to force overtime, Briar Woods’ defensive front rose up and stuffed North Stafford running back Von Purvis on the goal line, preserving the victory, a regional title and a spot in the 5A state title game to boot.
You can see a close up of that final play below.
"We know how to shut the run down. That's not our weakness anymore," Briar Woods junior Dominic Moore told the Washington Post. "We got ran all over in Week 4. We definitely wanted to stop [Purvis], and we did."
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