SPRING HILL — Kevin Bedford caught a 5-yard slant over the middle from senior Tyler Mahla with 48.2 seconds remaining to cap a dramatic Springstead comeback and win the critical Class 6A-District 6 opener for both teams.
The Eagles (3-1, 1-0) rallied from a 13-0 third-quarter deficit, scoring 14 unanswered points on a Sunlake defense that had not allowed any points all season, nearly 15 quarters. Desperate for a big play as time winded down, the Eagles called a trick play, a reverse pass from receiver Joe Jeffords to tight end Tyler Anderson, who was wide open for a 49-yard gain down to the Sunlake 20.
“It was the perfect time for it. We did an unbelievable job of making the call and our players did a great job of executing it,” Springstead coach Mike Garofano said. “Timing is everything.”
Mahla, who had 74 yards rushing to go along with the game-winning pass, did the rest. And Tyler Toth’s PAT was the difference.
Sunlake (3-1, 0-1) dominated the first three quarters, scoring on a Nathan Johnson TD run and a pair of field goals by Chris Wilkinson (37 and 34 yards). But the Seahawks also were stopped on a goal-line stand in the first half and missed a 32-yard field goal try, which left the game close in the fourth quarter.
Sunlake 0 3 10 0 — 13
Spring. 0 0 7 7 — 14
Sun - FG Wilkinson 37
Sun - Johnson 5 run (Wilkinson kick)
Sun - FG Wilkinson 34
Spr - Wright 3 run (Toth kick)
Spr - Bedford 5 pass from Mahla (Toth kick)