Just when it looked like the Douglas Tigers might be playing for a shot to win in overtime against Hug on Friday night, seniors Wyatt Eichhorst and Zach Kinder collaborated on a game-changing play.
Eichhorst partially blocked a punt and Kinder recovered the ball to put the Tigers in position to pull out a stunning 14-6 victory in the waning seconds of play.
That play gave Douglas possession at the Hug 28 with 42.7 seconds remaining and the score tied at 6-6. Seven plays later — aided by a fourth-down offside penalty against the Hawks — quarterback Wes Hundley scrambled 14 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 7.2 seconds showing on the clock.
The touchdown came on a third-and-10 play. Then to add icing to the cake, Bailey Vidaurri caught a pass from Hundley for the two-point conversion to push the lead to 14-6.
“I’m very excited for our first win,” said Kinder. “It felt good to get the monkey off our back.”
The Tigers are looking to continue that momentum on Friday when they celebrate homecoming against Spanish Springs.
“I’m excited,” Eichhorst said about homecoming. “I think we have a chance to win if we play physical and have no mental errors.”
A big play here or there — like that blocked punt — would go a long way toward helping out.
Eichhorst had to wait a few moments to realize the significance of his play at Hug.
“I just went underneath the guy and got through the line unblocked,” he said. “I just felt like I laid myself out and barely got the tip of it on my hand. I didn’t know if we had gotten it until I turned around and saw he was running with it.”
Kinder gained about 5 yards before he was tackled.
“I was excited,” Kinder said. “I saw the ball go directly up and it just fell right into my hands. It was a great play on his part.”
Added Eichhorst: “Plus it gave us great field position. It put us in position to win, that’s the part I was most excited about.”
After giving up 116 points in losses against Reno, McQueen and Reed the previous three weeks, the Tigers came up with their best defensive performance.
“I felt toward the beginning of the game they were more physical and toward the end of the game they wore down,” Eichhorst said.
“I think we just outplayed them in the second half,” Kinder added. “We were just fired up.”