With 7 seconds left on the clock, it looked as though Queen Creek would have to play in an overtime thriller for the second time this season.
Cactus Shadows had just moved to within a point of the Bulldogs after Bryce Kinsler found John Leonard in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass. All the Falcons had to do was kick the point-after to put them in a position to win in overtime.
Instead, Cactus Shadows faked the field goal and failed on a two-point conversion pass attempt, allowing the Bulldogs (8-1, 3-0) to survive for a 33-32 win at home in a critical 4A-I Desert Sky Region game.
“I didn’t (expect the fake),” Queen Creek coach Joe Germaine said. “I thought they’d kick the extra point and put it into overtime.”
More than just the final one, failed point-after attempts had a big impact on the final outcome. The two teams combined for a total of five missed point-after attempts; three by Cactus Shadows (6-3, 1-2) and two by Queen Creek.
“That was the difference in the game,” Germaine said.
One of Queen Creek’s failed attempts came after quarterback Adam Brzeczek threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Black for what turned out to be the game-winning score.
“I just ran my route, ran hard as I could and caught it,” Black said.
It was just one of a few big plays the Queen Creek offense produced. Two of those big plays came from Chim Nga, who ran for touchdowns of 49 and 64 yards. He finished with 224 yards rushing on 15 carries before leaving with an injury to his left ankle in the fourth quarter.
The extent of Nga’s injury was not immediately known after the game according to Germaine. After suffering the injury in the third, Nga attempted to play again in the fourth before being taken out for good.
“It was just something where he wasn’t really a hundred percent,” Germaine said. “We’ll have to see how he feels tomorrow and just go from there.”
Although Nga’s status isn’t clear for next week, what is clear is that the Bulldogs have a chance to win the region championship when they face Saguaro on Friday.
“At the beginning of the season we put our goal out to be region champions and that’s what we’re going to be looking to do all week in practice,” Brzeczek said.