After leading much of the game, the Bulldogs found themselves down by two with less than two minutes on the clock and on a fourth down. But when the Tigers were called for pass interference and Pretty Prairie got an automatic first down, quarterback Alex Mains didn’t waste a single opportunity.
St. John couldn’t convert that time into a touchdown and saw its season draw to a close with an 8-2 record, while the Bulldogs, also 8-2, advanced to a regional game against Ness City on Saturday.
While he admitted the game wasn’t one of the team’s better ones, Bulldog head coach C.T. Young was pleased with the last-minute success.
“We didn’t play exceptionally well tonight, but we do the two-minute drill every week and our kids knew exactly what to do in those situations,” said Young. “We had to find a way to win it and we found it.”
Had the Bulldogs not got into the end zone that last time, it would have been the extra points that made the difference. Pretty Prairie scored six touchdowns to St. John’s four. However, the Tigers had four successful two-point conversions, while the Bulldogs failed to get any extra points.
Young was aware of those statistics, but didn’t want to elaborate.
“Let’s not talk about that. No comment,” he said.
Pretty Prairie was very effective in getting the ball down the field in the first half, as Haflich scored on a 42-yard pass play and Broce nearly went coast-to-coast on a 76-yard pass play. Mains also got into the end zone on a pair of keepers to give the Bulldogs 24 points in the first half.
For the Tigers, Schuyler Brown scored on a 22-yard run, and Zuriel Reyes caught a Spencer Nusser pass for a 65-yard touchdown play, along with two successful PATs to close the half trailing with 16.
The Bulldogs were held scoreless in the third quarter, while St. John tied things up after Nusser connected with Reyes for a 30-yard touchdown play, followed by another two-point conversion.
Haflich answered early in the fourth quarter with a 48-yard touchdown, St. John took the lead back with a Francisco Calleros TD, only to have the Bulldogs score with 15 seconds to go.
Pretty Prairie on Saturday will face undefeated Ness City, who defeated Minneola 50-14 to advance.