The Darts lined up for their final snap of regulation with less than 2 seconds on the clock, game tied at 20. Being near mid field, the entire arena was preparing for an overtime duel that would decide the game.
Nobody expected this to be the last play of the game. Davis’ sophomore quarterback Jackson Stevens calls for the snap and drops back. Dodges a sack and airs the ball out high in the air towards the end zone.
Nobody can accurately recall what happened next. Multiple Davis and Syracuse players all went up for the jump ball. Nobody knew who came down with it or if anyone came down with it at all. With the entire crowd holding their breath, the referee put both his arms in the air signaling a touchdown.
The arena erupted in excitement. Parents cheered as everyone on the Davis sideline rushed to the endzone to celebrate. Shortly after the initial celebration, the team was joined by the student body. Being the homecoming game, there was extra people in attendance which made the celebration even more exciting.
Davis receiver Ty Hoagland was credited with the touchdown in the stat book, but Max Painter seemed to have the ball in his hands after the play. When asked about the play from his perspective, Painter said:
“I saw everyone jump for the ball and it seemed to be sitting in everyone’s hands for a second, so I grabbed it and pulled it down.”
Whereas Hoagland said:
“I went up and caught the ball but as I was falling down or maybe I was already down I’m not really sure, someone stripped it from me. I couldn’t tell if it was our team or theirs at first but once I realized Max had it I jumped on him and started celebrating.”
Either way the play resulted in a Davis touchdown and a huge win over a good Syracuse team.
Davis jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter after a Dakoda Kempthorne run and a Gage Butler field goal. By halftime the score was 17-3 and looking very good for the Darts.
However, Syracuse was not about to roll over like many were thinking. Coming out of halftime they ran back the opening kickoff, forced Davis to punt, then drove the field resulting in a 42-yard field goal making the score 17-13 with 7:25 left in the 3rd quarter.
After another Syracuse touchdown and a Davis field goal, the score was tied at 20 heading into the 4th quarter. The period was back and forth, staying tied the entire time. Thus, until the 40 yard heave from Stevens that gave the Darts the win.
Coming into the contest Davis (3-3) was 2-3 on the year. This win against Syracuse (4-2) should provide the confidence needed to compete for the top spot in a region where it’s free game. The biggest games of the darts season are ahead of them with one of them being an away game at Fremont this Friday.