Devils Lake scored twice in a two minute span to defeat Wahpeton 21-14 on Homecoming.
Wahpeton had the game won — until it didn’t.
Devils Lake scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes, capped off by a Josh Dahlen 8-yard touchdown reception along the sideline, that gave the Firebirds the 21-14 win Saturday afternoon from Roller Field, snapping a two game losing streak.
It was a final two minute that left Firebirds head coach Jake Wateland speechless.
“Uh … I can’t,” said Wateland after a few seconds of silence when asked to describe those final minutes.
Down 14-6, Devils Lake (3-3) used a four-play, 80 yard drive set up by a Parker Hanson pass to Austin Devier that covered 46 yards put the Firebirds inside the red zone. A Joey Hornstein run put the ball to the 4. Parker Vilandre punched it in. Hornstein coverted the two-point conversion that tied the score 14-all with 2:01 remaining.
On the Huskies ensuing possession, Vilandre’s strip sack of Wahpeton quarterback Isaac Wohlers gave the Firebirds the ball back with 45.2 seconds remaining. This time, it took Devils Lake five plays to go 51 yards led by a 33-yard reception by Aaron Johnson. Hanson found Dahlen along the left side who caught the pass while keeping his toes in, that gave the Firebirds the winning score.
“I’m just proud of our guys,” Wateland began once words did come to him. “We talked in the fourth quarter that we have to find a way to win and for someone to step up and make some plays. And we had a bunch of guys to step up in the fourth quarter and do that for us.
“The two-point conversion stand. If our defense doesn’t make that, we probably don’t win.”
The Huskies (1-5) scored with 4:29 remaining when Jake Pfaff took a reverse around the left side and streaked 38 yards for the touchdown. Wahpeton tried to run in the two-point conversion but failed, leaving their advantage to just eight.
“I wanted to take a timeout, I didn’t and I wish I would’ve,” said Wahpeton’s head coach Brian Dokken about the two-point try. “Looking back if we would have played that a little better it may have helped us but they made the plays when it counted.”
Last season, the two teams played a six overtime thriller in Wahpeton where the Huskies came away with the win. It appeared that overtime was in the cards again until the Firebirds defense gave them one more chance.
“Coming into this game we knew it was going to be a nail-biter. Last year, we had six overtimes with these guys so I knew we were going to be in for a battle. They just had the things go their way towards the end,” Dokken said. “I told my guys that I commend them for their effort.”
“We know that every team we play is good and we have to be ready to go and the guys were. … We’re at .500 right now and we just got to go week-by-week and try to get better every week,” Wateland said.
The Huskies took the lead in the first quarter after Wohlers took a quarterback dive up the middle from 40 yards out. Pfaff converted the two-point and the 8-0 lead held until the third quarter when a seven minute drive ended with a Hornstein 1-yard score. The two-point attempt failed to keep the score 8-6.
Chris Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ