When a school has a digital clock that counts down all year long for one game you know it’s a big deal. Both teams played their hearts out as Clayton Valley was able to escape with a 49-48 home win over Concord to take home the Claycord Cup in a game decided in the final minute.
Trailing 49-42, the Minutemen took over on their own 14 yard line with 6:57 remaining and in a game that saw both teams struggle to stop the other. The Minutemen looked to be determined to score in the final minute and that’s what they did. Going on the longest drive of the game, they worked their way down the field and on 4th and goal from the six-yard line junior Mitch Daniels found a wide open Mason Knight in the middle of the end zone to close the deficit to just one point with 20 seconds remaining. But as they had done all night long, the Minutemen went for the two-point conversion and the win.
On the game-deciding attempt, the pass was dropped in the end zone sending the home side into a frenzy. They chanted “Ugly Eagles” as the No. 1 team in our Division II North Bowl Game rankings escaped with a win. Daniels passed for 377 yards and five touchdowns for Concord. Junior Malik Blackburn carried the ball 27 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns and those two scores came on back-to-back carries.
After a fairly quiet first quarter that saw Eagles’ quarterback Gabe Taylor score the only touchdown on a 67-yard run, the scoring picked up in the second quarter before reaching an insane pace in the third quarter. Trailing 20-16 at halftime, the Minutemen took just two plays in the second half to score as Daniels found sophomore Donald Hollars down the left side line, who made one tackler miss and was off down the side for a 46-yard touchdown. That gave Concord the lead. As they did most of the game, the Minutemen then went for an onside kick but for the first time all night they recovered and wasted no time getting into the end zone again when Blackburn took the first play after the recovery 46 yards for a score.
Doing their part during an action packed third quarter that saw a total of 43 points scored, the Eagles got a 13-yard touchdown run from Tanner Wraa and then after an interception by their defense Taylor threw his first touchdown of the night finding Wraa for a 46-yard score to regain the lead. Wraa finished the night with 124 yards and one touchdown rushing along with the receiving score while Taylor completed 4 of his 7 pass attempts for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor also ran for 75 yards and a touchdown. Miles Harrison rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns and his 33-yard touchdown run and then successful two-point conversion gave the Eagles a 43-36 lead at the end of three quarters, a lead which they wouldn’t surrender.