River Road junior Matt Marrs booted a 32-yard field goal with just seconds remaining to give the host Wildcats an emotional 23-21 victory over non-district opponent Iowa Park.
The winning kick ended the roller-coaster of emotions for River Road fans on a high note. What had been a evenly-matched but somewhat plodding game, plagued by turnovers and dropped passes, turned into high drama in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter.
Trailing 21-14, River Road seemed doomed, as Iowa Park had the ball with a little over two minutes remaining. But working deep in their own end, the Hawks called a pass play. That led to a 25-yard interception return by Marrs, who stunned teammates and opponents by powering into the end zone for a score that brought the Wildcats to within a point.
Needing a chip-shot extra point to tie, River Road decided to go for a two-point conversion.
“We didn’t come here to tie Iowa Park,” said coach Jayme Carr. “that wasn’t our goal at any point — we came in here to win. So we lined up in our extra point offense, but the snap just went over the holder’s head. He recovered and tried to get it out, but we were going for the win there.”
The busted play on the conversion attempt left the Wildcats trailing by a point and a wind-chilled crowd of purple-clad onlookers nearly silent in disappointment and confusion.
For the second time in the waning minutes of the game, Iowa Park got the ball back, needing only to keep posession for a couple of minutes to win. But another Hawks fumble — their fourth of the night — was recovered by River Road’s Tristan Beezley near midfield.
The Wildcats went into their two-minute offense, but stalled and had to try for a 43-yard field goal attempt.
The kick fell short, but a roughing-the-kicker gave the Wildcats another life. Marrs’ ensuing 32-yard attempt split the uprights, giving River Road (4-2) its fourth consecutive win.
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- 12/7/12 - Follett advances to state title game
- 12/7/12 - Bulldogs take bite out of Elks
- 12/1/12 - Stratford too strong for Panhandle
- 12/1/12 - Skyrockets thump Springlake-Earth
- 12/1/12 - Booker QB Lile breaks 2 passing marks in loss
- 11/30/12 - Follett routs Matadors
- 11/24/12 - Skyrockets zoom past Bovina
- 11/24/12 - Canadian takes out No. 9 Cisco, 27-20
- 11/24/12 - Wheeler falls to Wolverines
Iowa Park 7 0 7 7 — 21
River Road 0 7 7 9 — 23
I—Langen 2 pass from Ponder (Hall kick)
R—Beezley 2 run (Marrs kick)
R—Pierce 85 pass from Norman (Marrs kick)
I—Langen 10 run (Hall kick)
I—Langen 4 run (Hall kick)
R—Marrs 25 interception return (run failed)
R—Marrs 32 FG
Iowa Park River Road
First Downs 11 6
Rushing Yards 61 91
Passing Yards 175 181
Total Yards 236 272
C-A-I 23-38-2 10-32-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 2-1
Penalties-Yards 4-40 7-65