“We were flat and didn’t play well at all in the first half, but we were able to get some energy and get going in the second half. Down the stretch, we made big play after big play to finally tie the game,” said Pettus head coach Steve Marbach.
After a scoreless first period, the Eagles scored first as defensive back Hunter Tomlin picked off a Beaver QB (Cameron Soto) toss and ran it back 72 yards for the interception return. Ryan Beck was good on the PAT kick and the Eagles owned a 7-0 second period lead.
The Beavers got it right back as Phillip Lyssy returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to knot the score at 7-7. The momentum shifted with the return as the host Beavers scored twice more in the second period to take a 21-7 lead into the intermission.
Falls City added to the lead with a third period score and the extra point failed but the Beavers were out in front, 27-7.
The Eagles never gave up and started their rally with a Beck two-yard run for a touchdown later in the third quarter. The PAT kick failed and the score was 27-13. Beck added his second TD early in the fourth period on a three-yard scamper; the two-point conversion pass was incomplete but the Eagles were back in the contest at 27-19.
The Beavers answered and a long run from Tyler Wiatrek of 51 yards to cap off the drive. The PAT kick failed as the Beavers went up, 33-19.
The Eagles then went to the air as Beck found Tomlin open for a 37-yard scoring strike on their next possession. The extra point kick was good to light up the scoreboard for another seven points and make it a 33-26 contest.
The Eagles regained possession of the ball with plenty of time on the clock. Beck found Tomlin again on a route that covered 29 yards this time and ended in the end zone. The kick for the conversion was true and it was tied at 33-33 with time running down in the game.
The Beavers went right to work and with the clock a factor, marched down the field on the Eagles. With just two seconds left on the clock, the Beavers called a time out and set up for one more play.
It took a 34-yard pass, one of only three completions for the Beavers all night, to cover the final 34 yards as Wiatrek went into the end zone. The final went to the Beavers, 39-33 as time expired.
“That last play was a heartbreaker. We were supposed to be in a four-deep coverage, but one of our coverage guys got mixed up and our two safeties both overcompensated and left the middle of the field open.,” said Marbach.
“It was just a mistake and a sad way to end a great second half. I told the guys afterwards that the last play wasn’t the only difference-maker in the game.”
Beck finished with 198 yards passing on 18 of 43 attempts by Beck. The Eagles ran for just 57 yards on 14 attempts.
Beck ran for 44 yards on six carries. Dylan Lopez had two carries for six yards and Tomlin had two rushes for another six yards. Josh Herrera carried the ball four times for a minus two yards against the tough Beaver run defense.
Tomlin hauled in five of Beck’s passes for 107. Casey Jones made good on six catches for 29 yards. Taylor Yeoman had three catches for 19 yards and Herrera came up with two catches for four yards.
““I am extremely proud of the character and heart we showed in the second half. Our guys never gave up and battled back again and again,” Marbach said.
The Eagles host Woodsboro on Friday for Homecoming. The kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.