Eastridge Fumbles Ball Into End Zone To Beat McQuaid

It certainly wasn't how Eastridge drew the play up.

On 4th and goal from the one, trailing McQuaid by three in the 2nd overtime of the Class A sectional semifinal, the Lancers went for the touchdown and the win.

If they were stopped, McQuaid would upset an unbeaten Eastridge team for the second year in a row.

On the snap, the Lancers moved in unison to block for a run off tackle to the right.

Except the ball never made it to the quarterback.

The snap was fumbled, but among a gaggle of legs, the ball was kicked into the end zone. Jeremiah Ortiz recovered for Eastridge and the Lancers celebrated a miracle win.

McQuaid players were left in tears. The Knights did everything right, but were done in by the unluckiest bounce of the ball.

The unlikely 27-24 victory at Sahlen's Stadium Friday night gives (1)Eastridge a berth in the Class A finals.

How the game got to that point will quickly be forgotten in comparison to the finish.

The Lancers jumped out to a 14-3 halftime lead thanks to touchdowns from Delano Reid and Nate Corbett, but Cory Parker scored on a ten yard run in the third quarter and added a two point conversion to pull the Knights within 14-11.

Will Mahar tied the game with a 40-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Knights had a chance to go on top with four minutes to go, but fumbled with possession while in Mahar's range. The turnover came only a snap after a long Parker TD run was negated by a penalty.

Eastridge had only one first down the entire second half and went quietly into overtime. However, Ortiz scored on the first play of OT to put Eastridge ahead 21-14.

The lead didn't even last a snap, as Parker answered with his own first-play touchdown and the Knights tied again at 21.

The Lancers defense stiffened in the second overtime and held McQuaid to a 30-yard Mahar field goal, his third of the game.

Eastridge ran for nine on their first carry of overtime, got the first down on the second and moved the ball to the five yard line on the third. A 2nd and goal rush yielded just a couple of feet. Ortiz then swept right on 3rd and goal and fell just a yard short of reaching the goalline before the sideline.

The Lancers never took the offense off the field. McQuaid called time out. Eastridge decided to go for the win. They got it, but in a way no one at Sahlen's Stadium could have imagined.

Parker finished with 210 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Ortiz led Eastridge with 139 yards and a pair of scores, albeit chasing the ball across the goalline on the final TD as opposed to carrying it.

The Lancers will face (6)Canandaigua in the Class A Final next Friday night. The Braves upset previously unbeaten Brockport 35-14 in the contest played after the Eastridge win.

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