RICHMOND – Seven yards, seven points and 13 seconds were all that separated Johnsburg from overtime at Richmond-Burton on Friday night.
Down 14 points with 5:29 remaining, the Skyhawks rallied, thanks to Alex Peete’s second rushing touchdown of the game. After the Skyhawks defense forced a 3-and-out, Johnsburg drove into the red zone with four chances to tie the game against their rival from Richmond-Burton.
On fourth and goal from the 7, Johnsburg quarterback Riley Buchanan rolled out to his right and fired toward the sideline. Skyhawks junior wide receiver Connor Bell dragged his toes in the end zone, as he reached out for the pass. But Richmond-Burton seniors Carter Miller and Robert Heaney batted the ball down and the Rockets held on for a 29-22 victory.
“That’s what you live for in football,” Miller said. “It’s the game-tying driving. Offense versus defense. Who’s the better team at that point?”
The Rockets were led offensively by Joe Wolfram, who accounted for 100 of the Rockets’ 278 yards on the ground yards and two touchdowns. Joe Dittmar added 61 yards and a touchdown and Jesse Hill-Male ran for 84 yards and a 25-yard touchdown that turned out to be the game winner.
The victory helped the Rockets (4-1, 2-1 Big Northern Conference East Division) bounce back a loss at Marengo last Friday. It also keeps Richmond-Burton's hopes alive in the race to win the BNC East title (Marengo remains the front-runner to win the conference with a victory Friday at Harvard).
But for the players, after losing to their rival Skyhawks last season, it was about something else.
“It’s payback is what it is,” Richmond-Burton lineman Dalton Wagner said. “It’s vengeance. And it feels good.”
Meanwhile, Johnsburg (4-1, 2-1 BNC East) was dealt its first loss of the season and the first loss of first-year coach Dan DeBoeuf’s tenure.
“It’s a test for us,” DeBoeuf said. “We’re going to find out who we really are now. It hurts for these seniors especially. This is a special one for them and it’s going to sting.”
The unsung hero—
Carter Miller, Richmond-Burton, Sr., DB
Miller and teammate Robert Heaney broke up Johnsburg's fourth and goal throw to seal the victory in the final seconds.
The number— 118. In the first quarter, Johnsburg scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes (118 seconds to be exact) to take a 15-7 lead.
And another thing... Johnsburg was flagged for more than 100 penalty yards on the game, including a penalty for lining up in the neutral zone before what would have been a fourth and goal from the 2-yard line.
Richmond-Burton 29, Johnsburg 22
Richmond-Burton 7 8 6 8 - 29
Johnsburg 15 0 0 7 - 22
RB- Wolfram 10 run (Kilcoyne kick), 8:04
JHS- Buchanan 1 run (Jayko run), 4:19
JHS- Peete 15 run (Jayko kick), 2:21
RB- Wolfram 15 run (Hill-Male run), 8:20
RB- Dittmar 3 run (kick failed), 34.6
RB- Hill-Male 25 run (Anderson catch from Gibson), 5:29
JHS- Peete 5 run (Jayko kick), 3:05
RUSHING— Richmond-Burton: Wolfram 16-100, Dittmar 18-61, Hill-Male 13-84, Gibson 4-33. Totals: 51-278. Johnsburg: Peete 16-107, Jayko 1-2, Kegel 3-19, Buchanan 4-11, Frazier 1 - -2. Totals: 25-137
PASSING— R-B: Gibson 2-4-0-14. Johnsburg: Buchanan 12-20-0-124.
RECEIVING— R-B: Anderson 2-14. Johnsburg: Kegel 1-6, Siudak 1-30, Jordan 2- -2, LoDolce 3-29, Peete 2-25, Bell 1-9, Frazier 2-27.
Totals: Richmond Burton 29-292 , Johnsburg 37-261
Sophomore score: Richmond Burton 34, Johnsburg 12.