ST. GEORGE — Coach Craig Andher wondered aloud if he'd have any players left to finish the game.
As it turns out, his Green Canyon Wolves had enough players and enough heart to overcome Pine View and pull out a 45-38 major upset win at Panther Stadium Friday night to open the 2018 prep football season.
"There late in the game, it seemed like every other play we had someone go down with a cramp or an injury," he said. "But they'd just get up and they kept going. These guys never quit, they never gave up. I couldn't be more proud."
With the score tied at 38-38, Brett Gasaway rushed up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown with 12.8 seconds left to secure the victory.
"I wasn't sure before the play if we should just take a couple of yards and then run the clock down and kick a field goal, or if I should go for it," Gasaway said "But I asked (quarterback) Joe Dygert if I should score or lay down and he said to just go for it."
The Wolves had just received the ball two plays earlier when a Green Canyon punt hit a Pine View blocker and was recovered at the Panther 15-yard line. Gasaway ran for two yards and then a false start penalty put the ball at the 18-yard line.
"That run he made, that play at the end was just to get us in position to kick a field goal," Andher said. "But lo and behold, he takes it in there and wins the game. Incredible."
Pine View was able to get the ball to the 46 of Green Canyon and had one Hail Mary pass to try and tie the game, but Green Canyon batted away the Dallin Brown prayer and the celebration was on.
"Nobody around the state believed in us, that we had a chance in this game," Dygert said. "I'm sure everyone thought we were going to get blown out tonight, but we believed in ourselves and that was enough."
Though the game was a bit of a horserace, Green Canyon only trailed once in the game – 3-0 less than four minutes in after Pine View's Connor Brooksby hit a 38-yard field goal. The Wolves answered with an 80-yard drive that culminated with a 2-yard Gasaway dive for six points.
Jake Lundin's TD catch from Dygert from 53 yards helped the Wolves to a 24-10 lead late in the first half, with Pine View's Tosh Wright scoring from 43 yards out just before halftime to make it 24-17.
Gasaway ran sideways through a hole to launch a 59-yard run in the third quarter to make it 31-17 and he scored again late in the third to put the score at 38-24.
Pine View began its comeback in the fourth quarter after a bad snap on a punt led to a short Brown TD that made it 38-31 with 7:51 left in the game.
After a Green Canyon punt, the Panthers then went 62 yards in six plays to tie the game, with Wright pounding it across the goal line with 3:21 to play to make it 38-38.
Green Canyon got one first down and then was forced to punt with just over a minute to play. The high kick by Delisle prompted a fair catch signal by the Pine View returner, but the ball, the returner and the up (blocking) back all converged at the same time and place. The ball caromed away and rolled to the 15-yard line, where it was recovered by the Wolves.
After some delay, with Pine View coaches arguing that their player never had a chance to catch the ball, it was ruled Wolves ball. Three plays later, Gasaway put the game away.
"Everyone thought Pine View was going to beat us by 50," Gasaway said. "I'm sure no one was even following this game. But we believed we could do this and we did it."