Madison Ridgeland Academy scored on a 39-yard field goal in the final seconds of the game to edge out St. Stanislaus for a 31-28 victory Friday night.
St. Stanislaus scored two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions with just under eight minutes left in the game.
The Rockachaws’ defense, however, gave up a 32-yard pass play with four seconds left on the game clock, which was just enough time for the dramatic, game-winning Madison Ridgeland Academy field goal to secure the win for the Patriots.
The Rockachaws were down 28-12 early in the fourth quarter when they appeared to rally to get back in the game.
Jakob Greer, who seemed to punch holes in the Patriots’ defense on the ground all night, went more to the pass in the last two scoring drives.
He connected with Harrison Brewer for 18, then to Dallas Payne for 8 and 7 yards before connecting with Thomas Williams for 17 yards and a touchdown to trail 28-20 with 7:50 remaining on the game clock after Greer carried for the 2-point conversion.
On the Patriots’ next possession, the Rockachaws’ defense made the big play as Leo Roos sacked the Patriots quarterback for a 6-yard loss. On the very next play the Rockachaws blocked the Patriots’ punt, giving them outstanding field position at the Patriots’ 16 yard line.
After an incomplete pass on first down, Greer carried four times for gains of 4, 10, 1 and 1 for the touchdown. He carried once more for the 2-point conversion, tying the game at 28-28.
“He’s a warrior. He’s a tough guy,” said St. Stanislaus coach Jeff Jordan. “He’s just a warrior and a great leader. I am proud of him and his effort, and I’m proud of the whole team’s effort. We’re down by 16 in the fourth quarter and we fight back. We had a little trouble stopping them on that last drive.
“I’m proud of Jake and I’m proud of the whole team for having the guts to fight back,” added Jordan. “This is the second game that we’ve had a bad snap that cost us the ball game. The game’s complexion might have changed if we didn’t do that, but that’s the difference in the ball game.”
Greer rushed for 97 yards in the game and two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions. He completed 14 of 18 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns and an interception.
MRA scored on the fourth play of the game’s opening possession with Jake Reeves carrying the first three snaps, a 6-yarder, a 2-yarder and 63-yard carry to the Rockachaws’ 9 yard line. On the next play Bailey Rademacher carried and fumbled the ball into the end zone where a Patriot player recovered for the game’s first score.
The Rockachaws responded with a methodical 14-play drive of chiseling running and three Greer pass completions for 6, 20 and 7 yards, the latter of which gave the Rockachaws a second and goal at the MRA 3 yard line. Greer carried seven times on the drive, the last a 3-yard keeper for the score.
The Rocks’ defense didn’t give up the long run on the Patriots’ second possession, forcing a punt from near midfield. The Rockachaws’ offense took over from their 20-yard line, and again moved the ball down the field, picking up two first downs, mixing the running game with three passes to the MRA 39 yard line.
On second down Greer dropped back and threw short to his deep receiver. Jace Correro intercepted for MRA, and the Patriots responded with a 9-play scoring drive to lead 14-6 with 2:59 left in the second quarter.
On the first possession of the second half, the Rockachaws mishandled the punt snap, and the Patriots recovered and scored to extend their lead to 21-6.
The Rockachaws had one of their biggest plays on the night as they converted a third-and-16 with a 53-yard pass completion from Greer to Payne to the Patriots’ 33 yard line.
From there Greer completed three more passes, an 18-yarder to Payne and a 9-yarder and a 6-yarder to Harrison Brewer, the latter for a touchdown.