By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– High School football overtime has to be one of the most gut wrenching moment of high school athletic scene.
You got to score to keep the game going if not win it, otherwise you could lose in the process of fighting for the win if a team sneaks one by you. And with each passing play and overtime period, that adrenaline and nerves increase to the point you’ll feel sick.
Silverton’s Caden Smith forced overtime with a late regulation score after McKay took a 21-14 lead following Kaven Enlet’s go-ahead score.
Smith struck gold when he dragged a few McKay defenders into the endzone as the made extra point made it 38-31 Foxes with the Scots coming to the plate.
“I knew I had a lot of guys on me I just knew I had to keep going or the game was over. I just kept moving forward and that was about it,” Smith said of the touchdown.
James Jennings answered with a 25-yard strike to the Silverton sideline to Justin Byrd to bring McKay to within one of the Foxes.
Jennings described the play as a dream as Byrd gave the Scots a chance for the tie or the win if they went that route.
“I don’t know how to describe it, it was like a dream,” said Jennings of the touchdown throw. “It was a dream to throw a touchdown pass on the last play of the game. I mean we did score a touchdown, but we couldn’t get the two (point conversion).”
Initially they lined up for the one-point try, but a timeout would change their mind as they brought the offense out for the win.
Ty Stultz was nervous as his Foxes defense met the McKay offense for the final play of the game.
“I was freaking out. I was…stomach was growling, I was about to throw-up. That last play, my eyes were closed and I was going as hard as I could,” Stultz said of the play. “I was dead after that.”
It was the gut-check moment both sides wanted, and though they would be playing again Thursday, they didn’t want to lose bragging rights. They didn’t want to lose this game.
Jennings handed it to Johnathan Rubio who ran an off-tackle play towards the Scots sideline before turning up-field where he met Schultz.
As the two met, Rubio kept driving but Stultz won the battle, stopping the sophomore just inches from the goal line and the win.
“I was freaking out. I was so happy, I’ve never made a play like that before in my life. I was really happy,” Stultz said.
The final was 38-37 Silverton as Stultz’ tackle proved to be the difference maker as the Foxes celebrated the win while McKay had the anguish of defeat on their faces in the triple-overtime thriller at McKay as players from both sides congratulated each other for the War on the Field.
“We played a good game. I did the best that I can do and the team did the best that we could do today,” said Jennings. “Going triple-overtime, it was tiring for the whole team but we pushed through it. We lost, but we lost as a team.”