The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

October 5, 2013

Carl Junction stuns Lamar on final play

LAMAR, Mo. — In a game where the two teams combined for 96 points, it was only fitting the final play was a touchdown.

The Carl Junction Bulldogs executed a hitch-and-pitch for a 48-yard touchdown on the game’s last play to defeat the Lamar Tigers 50-46 in their Big 8 Conference showdown in front of a packed crowd on Friday night.

Facing a third-and-4 from Lamar’s 48-yard-line, Carl Junction (5-1, 4-0 Big 8) was trailing 46-43 with 10.4 seconds remaining.

“I’ve been doing this 23 years, and I don’t know very many good plays to call in that situation,” Carl Junction coach Doug Buckmaster said.

That’s when Buckmaster stole a play from his past.

Carl Junction quarterback Dustin Satterlee hit Tanner McMurtrey for a 13-yard pass before running back Keynan Scheurich came around to receive the pitch from McMurtrey and take it the final 35 yards for a touchdown as time expired. Scheurich dodged a Lamar defender at the 1-yard-line to score the touchdown.

“Back in my Riverton years, we actually won a 4A semifinal game at Louisburg in overtime on a fourth-and-32, and Andy Ball caught the pitch and took it to the house just as Keynan did there,” Buckmaster said.

“We hadn’t even practiced that play. There wasn’t a whole lot time to explain it. I was worried he was going to be knocked out of bounds at the 1.”

Lamar (5-1, 3-1) took a 46-43 lead with 54 seconds remaining when quarterback Levi Peterson found Brett McDonald for a 10-yard touchdown pass, and Jared Beshore completed a halfback pass to Ethan Taffner for the two-point conversion.

“It was an outstanding call by Coach Buck,” Lamar coach Scott Bailey said. “It was a game-winning call. I’m not going to hang my head over one outstanding call to win a football game. We had never seen anything like that from them on film.”

The game was a matchup of two prolific offenses. Class 2’s top-ranked Lamar, which is the two-time defending state champion, entered the game averaging 60.2 points.  Carl Junction, Class 4’s No. 8 team, entered with an average of 49.8 points per outing.

The offenses lived up to their reputations.

Satterlee passed for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. Bulldogs receiver Matt Magee grabbed 120 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown.

Petersen (181), Taffner (146) and Danny Embry (116) each eclipsed the 100-yard mark in rushing for the Tigers.

“Lamar has a great program,” Buckmaster said. “They’ve had great success the last two years. That is an outstanding football team. We were fortunate to win that game. In my mind, they will line up and win another Class 2 state championship. There’s no doubt about that in my mind.”

Carl Junction jumped out to a 20-0 lead after a pair of touchdowns from Scheurich and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Chris Whelan.

“I think the amount of speed they had took us by surprise early,” Bailey said. “We had to start playing in another gear.”

Lamar trailed 27-6 in the second quarter, but rallied in the second half. The Tigers took their first lead at 38-37 when Taffner ran for a 29-yard touchdown with 5:27 left in the game. Carl Junction answered on the next possession with a 80-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Satterlee.

The Tigers responded with a 61-yard drive, capped by the Petersen touchdown pass to take the 46-43 lead with less than a minute remaining.

Bailey said it was difficult to put into words how proud he was of his players for fighting back after trailing by 21 points in the first half.

“Proud doesn’t cover it,” Bailey said. “I don’t think I can say I’m proud of my kids and do justice to what you saw. Honored may be better. I’m honored to coach kids who find themselves in a pretty deep hole to a pretty dang good football team and fight back.”

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