TIPTON – Down to its last play of the season, Western Boone quarterback Spencer Wright made the most of it.
Facing a fourth-and-4 at the Tipton 44 yard line in its Class 2A Sectional 38 semifinal against the No. 3 rated Blue Devils, the Stars trailed 14-13 with 45 seconds left and needed their quarterback to make a play.
All organization broke down as Wright used his legs to keep the play alive as long as possible. It paid off as Peyton Young somehow slipped behind the defense unnoticed and caught a wide open pass at the five yard line before walking into the end zone. Wright then completed a two-point conversion to Luke Kernodle for a stunning 21-14 road victory.
“That’s just Spencer Wright scrambling around and making a play,” said Western Boone coach Justin Pelley. “He’s young and he is still learning, but he is pretty athletic. He has made some big plays all year.”
The win capped a wild final few moments where it appeared the Stars were done on multiple occasions. After taking a 13-7 lead on a 13-yard run by Kernodle with 10 minutes to go, the Stars missed the extra point and Tipton was able to take advantage.
KJ Roudebush led a 10-play 66-yard drive that took more than six minutes off the clock. Sebastian Connor scored on a 3-yard pitch and the extra point gave Tipton a 14-13 lead with 3:47 left. The Blue Devils then got the turnover on downs it needed at the Stars’ 29 yard line and got the ball back with 2:20 left and the Stars having only one timeout.
The Stars’ defense was able to get the stop it needed, however. After a short run, Tipton had a bad snap that Roudebush was able to corral in the backfield. Western Boone then critically forced the ballcarrier out of bounds to stop the clock, and Tipton failed to convert on fourth and long to give the ball back to the Stars with 1:28 left at the Western Boone 30.
From there, Wright took over. He was able to quickly get the Stars past midfield before the drive stalled, setting up the fourth down play.
“I’m not sure if the DB fell down or what. I would have to see it on the tape,” said Tipton coach Aaron Tolle. “We had five DBs in on the play and I don’t know how somebody gets that wide open. We’ll have to see the film.”
The biggest play may have come on the final play of the first half. With the game tied 7-7, Tipton had the ball at the Western Boone 8 yard line and completed a pass to Caleb Burkett, but he was tackled at the 1 yard line and with no timeouts the clock expired, keeping Tipton from scoring points before the half.
“All game our defense was able to get a stop when it needed one,” said Pelley. “Even in the first half they drove down and we were able to stop them at the one right before halftime. That was a big moment to get off the field there.”
That play came after Western Boone’s first touchdown drive of the game. Garrett Miller tied the game at 7-7 with 5:41 in the half after a few stalled drives by the Stars. The teams then settled into a defensive stalemate throughout the third quarter before and interception and 31-yard return by Logan Benson helped set up Kernodle’s touchdown run.
The Stars (8-3) advance to the sectional championship where they will face Park Tudor, who was a 28-6 winner over Cloverdale.
Western Boone is looking to secure its first sectional crown in 16 years, while Park Tudor last won a sectional in 2005.