Teams combine for eight turnovers in the 14-13 win for Hillsboro/Central Valley.
HILLSBORO — The field — a sloppy mess. The ball — hit the ground more times than the raindrops that turned the turf into a muddy soup. And the game — came down to a series of one plays.
No. 1 Hillsboro/Central Valley made the play when quarterback Micah Gallagher connected with a leaping Carson Henningsgard in the back corner of the end zone on a fourth-and-goal in overtime that led to the game winning extra point by Parker Gallagher as the Burros found a way to escape 14-13 over No. 4 Devils Lake Friday, Oct. 4.
“I’m proud of the guys, I’m proud of the effort. Our guys battled; they left it all on the field,” said Firebirds head coach Jake Wateland. “Proud of their hearts and expecting to the win the game.”
The Firebirds (3-2, 1-1 East Region) who were held scoreless until the final minute of the third quarter, took their first lead of the game when Ben Heilman carried the ball across the goal line from 7 yards out on their possession of overtime. However, the extra point by Robby Serumgard was blocked. That set up the dramatic finish.
“It was the same play we ran before that,” said Burros head coach Scott Olsen on the eventual winning score. “We just said that no one was helping over the top so we told Carson to instead of running the bubble, run to the corner of the end zone and what a catch.
“It was an amazing catch and throw.”
The two teams combined for eight turnovers in the game with the Burros losing three of five fumbles, the final one led to a Parker Vilandre 2-yard touchdown run with 1 minute, 14 seconds left in the third quarter that proved to be the score that sent the game into overtime. Heilman was intercepted three times.
Devils Lake also fumbled once but recovered.
Heilman’s next to last interception, by NDSU commit Oscar Benson, gave the Burros the ball at the Firebirds 39 yard line with 29 seconds remaining in regulation. However Vilandre’s interception of Micah with nine seconds left assured the OT.
“It was tough. How we had to face adversity with injuries and their pressure forced us into some bad pitches and then you get into panic mode of how we’re going to finish this out. We eventually rallied, got the stops that we needed and did enough to win the game,” Olsen said.
The Burros (6-0, 2-0) were held 24 points below their season average and finished with 215 yards of total offense. The Firebirds defense also held Benson to 53 yards rushing.
“Our defense had a tremendous night. I am very proud of the effort on defense,” Wateland said.
The Firebirds finished with 119 yards of total offense, with Heilman throwing for 66 yards, 35 of those going to Aaron Johnson.
The Burros scored in the second quarter when Micah punched it in from the 1. Parker’s extra point gave the Burros the 7-0 lead.
Chris Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No. 4 Devils Lake at No. 1 Hillsboro/Central Valley box score
Devils Lake 0 0 7 0 6 — 13
H/CV 0 7 0 0 7 — 14
H/CV — M. Gallagher 1 run (P. Gallagher kick), 9:56.
DL — Vilandre 2 run (Serumgard kick), 1:14.
DL — Heilman 7 run (kick failed).
H/CV — Henningsgard 10 pass from M. Gallagher (P. Gallagher kick).