Facebook Twitter

Skyline edges Alta in double-OT thriller

SHARE Skyline edges Alta in double-OT thriller

In a thrilling two-overtime 5A semifinal that featured plenty of gutsy calls, 62 points and 611 yards of total offense, all that really mattered was one play for all of six inches.

Skyline's Ryan Lavigne, who was handed the ball on that final play, has certainly never run for a more exciting half-foot.After Alta missed a field goal in the second overtime, Lavigne put an end to the wild game by plunging into the end zone from the 6-inch line on fourth down.

Several Hawks celebrated, thinking they had stopped him short of the goal line, as they had quarterback Stillman Clark the play before. The officials delayed the call for a few long seconds before raising their arms, sealing second-ranked Skyline's 34-28 victory over third-ranked Alta.

"It's absolute pure pleasure," Lavigne said after getting up from the bottom of a pile of celebrating Eagles. "We never die. Man, we just believed we'd win."

The Eagles will face No. 1 Brighton, which defeated Granger 42-13 in the early semifinal, in the championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at Weber State.

Lavigne, who was quickly mobbed by teammates, never doubted that he got the ball past the goal line.

"My facemask was in, my shoulder pads were in. I was in up to my stomach," he said.

"He was in by six inches at least," added Clark.

The call was a risky one for the Eagles, who could have won the game with what would have been a 17-yard field goal. But Skyline coach Roger DuPaix said he has complete faith in his offensive line, which had played well all day.

"We only had to clear a path that far," Dupaix said, gesturing to show the distance with his hands. "Ryan can get a couple of inches any time."

Clark, who finished with 156 yards rushing, had the option of keeping on the play or giving the ball to his fullback. Though Clark had already scored three touchdowns, he stuffed it in Lavigne's arms. Lavigne, who held onto the ball after the game, probably has the pigskin now.

The game nearly didn't make it to the second overtime. Clark scored on Skyline's first possession of the first overtime - each team gets four tries from the 10-yard line - and Alta answered with a 4-yard run by Tony Nielsen. The Hawks trailed by one, 28-27, and Alta coach Mitch Lunak decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win.

The Hawks tried to get the Eagles to jump offsides, but instead two Hawks were whistled for a false start, so Lunak decided to kick the extra point.

Not lost in the defeat was an outstanding performance by Nielsen. He rushed for 180 yards and scored all four touchdowns for the Hawks.

DuPaix said this victory ranks among the top 10 of his Skyline career. And that's saying something, considering the Eagles have won four championships since 1990. This one cost him a few gray hairs, though.

"I've aged 10 or 20 years. I feel like I'm older than LaVell (Edwards) now," he joked.