Eastridge Hangs On For Sectional Title

- Eastridge built a 17-point lead and held on for dear life as Victor came within a few feet from tying the game in the final minute before finally falling 19-16 in the Class A Sectional Championship Friday night at Sahlen's Stadium.

Markhayl Armstrong scored two TDs, but the third (2)Eastridge touchdown was likely the key to the win.

With three seconds remaining in the first half, the Lancers set up in a field goal formation. The holder was quarterback Jametrius Lewis who popped up on the snap and rolled to his right, finding Jayshawn Pinkard wide open in the end zone for six. Instead of leading 9-2 at the half, the Lancers were up 13-2.

Armstrong's first TD came in the first quarter on a 35 yard sprint down the left sideline. His second score was a two yard grinder that capped a lengthy third quarter drive.

Victor had come close to hitting on long pass plays all game long and finally started connecting in the fourth quarter. Mike Wagner found Connor Powers on 4th down and 8 for a ten yard touchdown to close within 19-9.

After forcing an Eastridge three and out, the Blue Devils took advantage of a short punt and drove 35 yards for another score. Wagner lofted a perfect fade into the arms of John Clemens from 15 yards out and Victor was down only three points with just under three minutes to play.

Then, things got interesting. The Lancers were fortunate to survive an excellent onside kick attempt by Victor to gain possession. On 4th and 2 from the Victor 40 yard line with 2:16 left in the game, Eastridge tried a play action pass to convert the first down. It fell incomplete.

The Blue Devils immediately got into Eastridge territory on a 25-yard hookup from Wagner to Powers. However, the Blue Devils managed only one more first down before the drive stalled at the Lancers' 15 yard line. On 4th and 10, the Blue Devils went for the tie. The kick was on line but just five feet short.

Eastridge will move on to the state quarterfinals next Friday night against the sectional winner from Buffalo's Section Six. The game will be at Sahlen's Stadium with an 8pm kickoff.

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