Senior Anthony Abenoja sits on the ground after Friday’s sub-state loss to North. Photo by Jackie Lippert.
With 14 seconds left in the game, the Blue Valley sideline was silent. The team, locked in arms and kneeling, knew this was the defining play. They were up 14-13, but the Olathe North Eagles were preparing to kick the game-winning field goal. This once 1-6 team could almost taste victory.
The ball sailed through the posts, ending the Tigers’ Cinderella story.
North added another victory to their undefeated season with a score of 16-14.
The game started off in the Tigers’ favor. After the Tigers recovered a botched punt return with 4:35 left in the first quarter, momentum was in full force. The team scored on a pass from senior Anthony Abenoja to junior Jacob McDermott, putting them up 7-0.
The Eagles didn’t take much time to add some points to the board, scoring early in the second quarter. With good defense from both teams, the score remained tied 7-7 at halftime.
With 30 seconds left in the third quarter, BV recovered an Eagles’ fumble that led to a score on a pass from Abenoja to junior Paul DeBey Jr. Tigers were up 14-7.
With the Eagles back in scoring territory, BV stopped them on fourth down but a penalty gave it back to the Eagles with a first down. North scored but missed the extra point attempt leaving BV ahead 14-13.
After a three and out by the Tigers, North was given the ball with 3:11 left in the game.
After the game-winning field goal was kicked, the Tigers were given ten seconds but could not come up with any points. Final score: North wins 16-14.
by Stephanie Roche.