Because deadline’s stink, let’s revisit Penn-Trafford’s 35-34 upset of No. 3 Gateway from Friday night.
Fourth quarter, Gateway ahead, 21-20, after Jimmy Moore found Montae Nicholson for a 44-yard touchdown with 11 seconds to go in the third.
Penn-Trafford three-and-out. Gateway scores again for a 27-20 lead. Moore to Nicholson, 66 yards. Extra-point attempt no good. This would be huge.
Brett Laffoon engineers a nine-play, 62-yard touchdown drive for Penn-Trafford, ending with a 14-yard scoring strike to Timmy Vecchio.
Gateway answers. A Delvon Randall catch puts the Gators at the 1. Zaihe Regus finishes it. It’s 34-27 with 2:16 to go.
Penn-Trafford starts at its own 37. Devin Austin 14-yard converts on third-and-10. Laffoon to Brendan Reddy takes Warriors to 36. Laffoon to Ryan Marasti for a huge, fourth-down pickup. Laffoon to John Guzik for the score. Laffoon to Austin for the conversion with 16 seconds to go.
Ninety-three of Laffoon’s 155 yards and two of his three touchdowns came during the final quarter.
“He showed some poise,” Warriors coach John Ruane said of Laffoon. “I’m really proud of him. He looked like a senior in the fourth quarter. It was phenomenal.”
Speaking of Ruane, he deflected all credit for trying the 2-point conversion. He said assistants Dan Tarabrella and Bob Westerlund talked him into it.
“They said ‘Let’s have some guts and let’s do it,’ ” Ruane said. “So I listened … credit those guys.”
Laffoon said they practiced that exactly play, with Austin slipping out of the backfield. It showed.
“I knew it was going to be open,” Laffoon told me. “I took a hit, released it … words can’t explain what I’m feeling right now.
“We run it in practice. Two-point conversion, game on the line, that’s what we run.”
Had to be good considering Gateway quarterback Jimmy Moore threw for 389 yards and four touchdowns, three to Montae Nicholson (six for 252) and one to Delvon Randall (four for 104).
Check out this stat: Gateway scored on drives averaging 4.2 plays. Average length of touchdown: 43 yards. Talk about scoring quick. But Penn-Trafford scored when it mattered most.
“How could you not be proud?” Ruane said. “You’re playing the best skill guys you’re going to see in your life. They had some big plays. They always do. And we kept responding. We kept coming back. I’m so proud of everybody on our team. We talked about it being a 60-man effort. Certainly everyone on this team contributed tonight, so I’m really proud of them.”