With 12.5 seconds on the clock and following a penalty, MC stepped to the line with a 4th and 15 yards to go from the Southwood 16. Senior QB Casey Conatser hit senior WR Nick Mitchell for the game-tying, record-setting, heart-stopping, history-making winning TD.
The 4th ranked Bears had reached the Final 4 by defeating the 12th ranked Southwood Knights, 28-21.
Southwood scored first on a 79 yard slant pass to post a 7-0 lead. It stayed that way for the entire first half.
The only points in the 3rd quarter saw senior QB Casey Conatser hitting Wyatt Snyder for a 68 yard score. The 2-point conversion failed and with 4 minutes to go in 3rd, the Bears trailed 7-6.
Southwood fumbled the ensuing kickoff and MC recovered. However that was followed by the only other turnover of the night – a pick 6 with a 55 yard return by the Knights for a 14-6 lead.
Junior Seth Wilson returned the kickoff 55 yards to the Knights 32. The drive ended with Conatser hitting Israel Nash for six points. Wyatt Snyder got the 2 pt conversion to tie the game with 9:36 to go.
All of the sudden there was an offensive slugfest on the field.
Despite fumbling and recovering the ensuing fumble, the Knights ended their next drive with a 28 yard TD pass with 7:36 to go. The PAT was good and Southwood led 21-14
The Bears wasted no time on their next possession as following the kickoff, Conatser hit Nash on an 88 yard screen play that went for six. The 2-point conversion failed and MC trailed 21-20.
The Bears defense forced the Knights to punt after just 3 plays and the Bears took over on the Southwood 43 with 3:02 to go in the game.
History was made from there.
A team that averaged 50+ points a game – only scored 14 against the Bears. The 2nd leading passer in the state had been held well under his 310+ yard average and a usually potent Knights’ offense had been stymied.
On the other side, Conatser was 81-of-29 for 386 yards and 4 scores – none bigger in his career than the last second toss to Mitchell. MC ran the ball 26 times – but only twice in the 2nd half as MC found the Knights’ Achilles. Wyatt Snyder rushed for 29 yards, Kamron Caldwell 23, and Seth Wilson 16.
The receiving corps was led by Israel Nash with 164 yards including two touchdowns including an 88 yard strike. Snyder had 127 yards receiving, Caldwell 57 yards and Micthell 39 yards.
Mitchell also led the Bears in tackles with 9, while Taft Manship had 8 and with 7 each were Kaden Conklin, Seth Wilson and Tucker Young. Kobe Brown had one tackle for loss while Young had two, while both recorded QB sacks.
Manship and Matt Poole each caused fumbles while Mitchell recovered a fumble.
The 4th ranked 12-1 Bears will travel to face #1 Pioneer (13-0) Friday night at 7:30 p.m.