WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kelloggsville football team had its back against the wall in the final seconds of Friday night’s O-K Silver clash against rival Godwin Heights.
The Rockets, however, found a way to escape with a key defensive play. An interception by Jaevion Willis with eight seconds remaining helped seal a thrilling 21-20 road victory over the Wolverines.
Both teams entered the showdown with perfect 5-0 records.
“We had to get a stop, that was it,”Kelloggsville coach Don Galster said. “We knew we weren’t going to get the ball back, and if we did we would have minimal time. We just challenged our kids and they made the play when they had to make a play. They had a miscue, and we took advantage of it.”
Kelloggsville, which remained unbeaten at 6-0 and clinched a playoff berth, took a one point lead with 3:48 left in regulation on a 20-yard scamper down the sidelines from senior quarterback Alex Guzman.
The Wolverines rallied, though, and reached the Rockets’ 3-yard line before their game-winning drive stalled in disappointing fashion.
“We gave the people what they wanted to see,” said Godwin Heights coach Carlton Brewster said.
It was Godwin Heights’ first loss of the season.
“It was a dogfight, and we came up short. It hurts because we were at the 3-yard line, but we know we got their respect. We battled hard, and sometimes the ball drops like that.”
After a sloppy first half that included a combined six turnovers, the Rockets took a 15-14 lead into the half after Guzman connected with Josh VanDalsen for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
The score remained that way until the fourth quarter.
After a crucial goal line stand, Godwin Heights put together a 99-yard drive that chewed up more than 6 minutes off the clock.
The drive ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Susu Davenport that gave the Wolverines a 20-15 advantage.
The Rockets responded, though, and produced the go-ahead score.
“That’s the type of kids we have,” Galster said. “These kids hate to lose and they are going to do everything necessary to win a ballgame.”
Galster said his team knew the importance of Friday’s contest.
“This was a statement game for us. We’ve played some good ball clubs coming in, but we had to step up tonight. They are a good ball club, but I thought our kids played pretty well and I’m proud of them.”
Guzman was all smiles after the final play.
“I saw a hole, and I blitzed, and then my man Jaevion picked it off,” Guzman said. “This was a really big win. We wanted to beat these guys all week and I love my team. We trusted each other and we got it done.”
Kelloggsville fumbled the opening kickoff and Godwin Heights scored on the next play.
Davenport tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kalen Brown and the Wolverines had an early 7-0 lead.
The Rockets’ defense recorded a safety, and then went on top after a 5-yard touchdown run by Thomas Griggs.
Godwin Heights also recorded a defensive touchdown in the second quarter.
“They changed their whole defense, and we struggled a little bit, but we moved forward and played well,” Brewster said. “It was a beautiful crowd, and I’m happy for our community.”