At the conclusion Basic’s last game Sept. 15, an ugly scene broke out highlighted by fights, police involvement that included the use of pepper spray, and ultimately ended with the Wolves having to forfeit that game and the next.
In its return to the gridiron Friday at Silverado, Basic couldn’t have scripted a more perfect ending, as quarterback Paul Myro tossed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Zack Grismanauskas on the final play of the game to give the Wolves a 34-30 victory over the host Skyhawks.
“I love the enthusiasm the kids had. I love the way they played together,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said. “It’s been tough. You know everything that happened, that’s not what Basic football is about and never has been. And our kids felt that. We had a big team meeting after that game and we came together a little bit.
“They never broke apart tonight no matter what the situation. I was really proud the them for that.”
The game-winning score was the eighth lead change in a game that started with a scoreless first quarter but concluded with four touchdowns in the fourth, with the teams trading the lead each time.
Myro, who finished 24-for-47 for 309 yards and four touchdowns for Basic (2-3, 1-0 Southeast League), appeared to have thrown the game-winning TD with 2:05 left when he found Steven Justice in the end zone on an 11-yard toss to give the Wolves a 27-23 lead.
But Silverado (2-3, 0-1) answered with 1:02 left. With the ball at the Wolves 44-yard line, Carson Loosbrock caught a pass from Hoapili at the 30-yard line and raced down the middle of the field to the end zone for what appeared to be the game winner for the Skyhawks that made it 30-27 with 1:02 remaining in the game.
But Basic calmly put together a 7-play, 73-yard drive, capped by Grismanauskas hauling in the game-winning reception from a scrambling Myro in the middle of the field.
“We practice 2-minute drills all the time, so we had the confidence we could score. “ said Grismanauskas, who finished with seven receptions for 109 yards to lead Basic. “On that last play, I had to get past their defense, and I just found myself wide open. And the ball just came right at me. Paul definitely through a nice ball.”
Grismanauskas said coming out and winning Friday was very important to the team after the events of the last two weeks.
“It definitely angered us, when the principal came and told us we couldn’t play (against Valley last week),” Grismanauskas said. “But it also snapped something in our heads where we just had to come out and get this ‘W.’ ”
After Grismanauskas made the catch, the entire Basic team raced to the end zone and converged on him in a celebratory dogpile of Wolves.
“They came together and put a drive together and it was awesome,” Cahill said. “We have worked hard to get here. When you get on the field you need to celebrate with your guys. I told my team that’s what football is all about.”Box score: