With the game on the line Friday at Foothill, Green Valley quarterback Jacob Olim knew his team was either 4.5 seconds from a crushing defeat or 7 yards from a stunning victory.
With that pressure at hand, instead of being overwhelmed, the senior signal caller calmly looked over the defense and zipped a 7-yard strike to Elijah Spann at the goal line with .01 seconds left to lift the Gators to a 37-34 win over the previously undefeated Falcons.
“It was like the play happened in slow motion,” said Olim, who finished 21 of 42 for 261 yards and three TDs. “It wasn’t an actual play that we had. I looked back side and found him wide open.”
The pass capped a drive that started at the Gators 40 with 57 seconds left and saw Olim toss three incompletions. But Olim revived the Gators’ hopes by hitting Tevis Labrador across the middle on fourth-and-10 for a 43-yard completion.
“Their defense was amazing,” Olim said. “I had a split second when he was wide open, and I hit it.”
Olim’s last-second heroics dashed Foothill’s come-from-behind story, as Tyren Boyken scored on a 40-yard screen pass from Drew Doxtator that put the Falcons up 34-30 with 57 seconds left.
That score capped an 87-yard drive for Foothill (4-1, 1-1 Southeast) and an outstanding outing by Doxtator, who connected on 21 of 37 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns.
Green Valley (3-1, 1-1) went up 17-0 in the first quarter behind TD runs of 14 and 28 yards from Aaron Love, who finished with 27 carries for 148 yards.
Two Foothill fumbles and a blocked field goal by Green Valley set up all of the Gators’ first-quarter scores.
Amod Turner returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to pull Foothill within 17-7.
Then Doxtator and Kyle Keplinger heated up, hooking up on a 53-yard TD pass on the third play of the second quarter. Green Valley answered when Olim lobbed a 25-yard toss to Spann, but Keplinger and Doxtator connected for another touchdown, from 44 yards, to trim the Gators’ lead to 24-21 with 3:58 left in the first half.
Keplinger finished with eight receptions for 157 yards.
On the ensuing Gators drive, Foothill safety Jeremy Purdie came up with a sack on third down and then blocked a punt to give the Falcons the ball on the Green Valley 18.
Doxtator found Tyler Moris in the back corner on the endzone on the next play to give the Falcons their first lead of the game, 28-24, with 2:16 left before halftime.