Dietrich junior quarterback Chris Maughan was down, but not out.
Sidelined briefly by a leg cramp in the third quarter, Maughan returned to
rally the host Blue Devils past the Carey Panthers 40-38 Friday in a wild, high-scoring
Sawtooth Conference eight-man football contest.
Maughan (11-for-26 for 192 yards, 3 TD) marched Dietrich 60 yards in the
final 80 seconds, completing the game-tying TD drive with a Hail Mary 18-yard aerial to
senior Sam Sorensen with one second left.
Junior Joel Conner pushed across the two-point conversion run giving
Dietrich (3-1) its second straight football win over Carey (2-2)and handing the
Devils the advantage in the race for a state playoff berth.
Dietrichs Maughan (358 all-purpose yards and a team-high 10 tackles)
and Carey senior Jonathan Rivera (389 yards and 4 TDs) were the individual stars on a hot
afternoon dominated by the offenses.
Combined, the teams gained 1,070 yards and scored 12 TDs, six apiece.
The difference boiled down to two-point conversions and Maughans
ability to put points on the board with virtually no time left.
Dietrich succeeded on two of six conversions, while Carey (6-for-21
conversions on the season) made only one of six attempts.
The scrambling ability of Maughan (12 carries for a game-high 106 rushing
yards) created a 13-yard TD pass to Conner with no time left in the second for a 26-18
Dietrich lead. Running around until Sorensen reached the end zone, Maughan passed just far
enough for Sorensen to catch the final last-minute heave.
In the first quarter, the teams traded scores and tallied five TDs.
Carey QB Lee Jay Cook (158 yards passing and 3 TDs) hit Alex Peterson for
a 27-yard TD aerial on Careys first drive. Maughan connected with Stetson Weber (4
catches, 82 yards) on a 38-yard scoring aerial.
The first of two Maughan interceptions and a 29-yard Conner run sparked
Dietrich to a 14-6 lead. Rivera (12 TDs, 74 of Careys 138 points for the season)
roared back downfield for a 81-yard kickoff return.
Not to be outdone, Maughan broke five tackles on an amazing 58-yard TD
scramble and a 20-12 Devil advantage. Cook, burned by an underthrown pass earlier, tossed
the ball as far as he could. Rivera caught it for a 57-yard scoring
strikeCareys longest touchdown pass of the year.
Maughan rolled right from the spread formation, drew Panther defenders to
him and dumped off a pass to Conner, who scored for a 26-18 Devil lead as the buzzer
Carey and Dietrich traded turnovers in the third. Riveras
interception and 20-yard return set up Careys next score. A 31-yard Cook-to-Rivera
connection was the big gainer, then sophomore Robbie Ellsworth took an inside handoff and
tallied his first touchdown on a 23-yard run.
Ellsworth also made the tackle on Maughans 23-yard scramble that put
the Blue Devil quarterback out of the game with the leg cramp on Dietrichs next
drive. Unsettled, the Blue Devils made a high punt snap and Carey recovered at the five.
Rivera scored, Peterson caught the Cook conversion pass and Carey led 32-26.
The momentum favored Carey, and the Panthers put together a time-consuming
drive early in the fourth quarter. But holding and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties
foiled the drive, Carey punted and Maughan went back to work as the Devil QB.
Bad news for Carey.
The big gainer was an Immaculate Reception 21-yard pass from Maughan that
Marcus Newton caught after the ball was tipped by Carey. Dietrichs Conner (94
rushing yards) made a couple of first-down runs, then, on third-and-goal, Sam Sorensen
scored from five yards out.
Less than three minutes remained and the teams were tied 32-32.
Carey seemed a likely winner when Rivera attacked the right end for 9-yard
and 13-yard gainers, then caught a quick flat pass from Cook and sprinted for a 27-yard TD
with only 1:20 on the clock. Cooks conversion pass attempt went incomplete.
Maughan had one more miracle.
He returned the kickoff 30 yards and threw to Weber for 19 more. Stephen
Jurgensmeier (a team-high 16 tackles) and John Saili sacked Maughan. Dietrich faced a
4th-and-13 with 24 seconds left. Maughan hit Conner for a 26-yard gainer.
Only nine seconds remained at the Panther 18 when Maughan took the snap
and dropped back. He threw high and long. The ball came down at the goal line and was
actually tipped by a Carey defender. But Sorensen was positioned right behind. He cradled
the tipped pass with both hands.
Dietrich fans went wild. They went wilder when Conner barreled home for
the game-winning two-point conversion, affirming Dietrichs superiority on the
scrimmage line (259 rushing yards to Careys 167).
With the win, Dietrich gained a leg up in the race for the likely third
state playoff berth from the Sawtoothits key game the Sept. 29 grudge match at
Should Carey hold serve in its final five games and finish 6-3, Dietrich
must lose at Richfield and Camas County for the Panthers to have a shot at the state