With its backs against the wall in a heated Division 1 South second-round matchup, Catholic Memorial found a way to survive and advance.
Trailing, 20-0, in the first half at BC High, the fifth-seeded Knights rallied to make it a 20-14 game and earn one last shot with less than two minutes remaining.
The drive started at the 22. From there, senior quarterback Nick Goffredo eluded a fierce pass rush multiple times, twice finding his favorite target, senior Jarrett Martin, for first-down conversions, setting up one last desperate attempt for a game-tying touchdown.
After a conference by the officials concluded that Goffredo threw an incomplete pass with two seconds remaining, the ball was put in play, and the Knights created magic. Goffredo hooked up with Martin for a 42-yard touchdown on a Hail Mary. The game-winning extra point came from junior Will Fay for a 21-20 victory.
Video: Play ruled incomplete pass
Bizzarely ruled incomplete pass here. Cm gets one more shot at Hail Mary with 2 seconds left pic.twitter.com/QeDyUiJioi— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) November 4, 2017
Catholic Memorial (6-3) advances to face Catholic Conference rival Xaverian in a sectional final next weekend.
“I’m so proud of our team and my guy Goffredo,” said Martin. “We never doubt each other and we know that we’re going to make big plays. We practice the two-minute drill every single walkthrough before a game and it finally worked out for us.”
Seniors Danny Abraham and Will Bowen, as they have all season, led a potent rushing attack for BC High (8-1). The Eagles compiled 203 rushing yards in the first half, as Bowen scored twice and Abraham added a touchdown.
But after scoring with 15 seconds left in the first half, the Knights came out of the locker room a different team.
Catholic Memorial was able to limit BC High to 70 yards from scrimmage and zero points over the final 22 minutes.
Video: Hail Mary pass
“We felt like we were in position to make plays [in the first half], but our kids were so fired up that they weren’t focusing on fundamentals,” said Catholic Memorial first-year coach Brent Williams.
“Going into halftime, we challenged our defense to step up and they went out and pitched a shutout in the second half.”
While they failed to capitalize on four of their first five trips into Eagles territory, the Knights finally took advantage of great field position, as Goffredo converted a 1-yard rushing touchdown to make it a 20-14 game midway through the fourth quarter.
“BC High is a great football team and we just made one more play with two seconds left in the game,” said Williams. “We’re fortunate to come out of here with a 1-point win.”Nate Weitzer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.