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For the week of September 20 through 26, 2000

Maughan drives Blue Devils past Carey 40-38

Wild Sawtooth Conference grid showdown

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.

Dietrich’s 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 Maughan’s 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 Carey’s 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 Carey’s 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 strike—Carey’s 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 sounded.

Carey and Dietrich traded turnovers in the third. Rivera’s interception and 20-yard return set up Carey’s 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 Maughan’s 23-yard scramble that put the Blue Devil quarterback out of the game with the leg cramp on Dietrich’s 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. Dietrich’s 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. Cook’s 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 Dietrich’s superiority on the scrimmage line (259 rushing yards to Carey’s 167).

With the win, Dietrich gained a leg up in the race for the likely third state playoff berth from the Sawtooth—its key game the Sept. 29 grudge match at Richfield (2-1).

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 playoffs.


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