With the game seemingly headed to overtime, Reno quarterback Chad Savage suddenly saw a huge opening.
Savage rambled 39 yards to the Bishop Manogue 5-yard line. The run set up the game-winning field goal.
Ollie Graybar left no doubt on the 22-yard attempt to lift Reno to a 23-20 win in a Division I football game Thursday at Manogue.
Reno, the No 2 seed in the High Desert, will face Damonte Ranch next week in the playoffs. The Miners, the No. 2 seed in the Sierra League, will host Spanish Springs next Friday.
“A lot of people say, its a good fourth-quarter comeback, but it means we weren’t ready to play for the first three quarters,” Savage said. “That can’t happen. From here on out, it’s the playoffs, win or go home. What we came out with tonight, we can’t have that.”
Bishop Manogue was in control early Thursday, opening the game with a 74-yard drive that consumed more than 6 minutes.
But in the second quarter, Savage went to work, connecting with Mike Lawton on a 30-yard TD pass. He then returned an interception of an M.J. Farthing pass 35 yards for a score.
On Manogue’s next possession, the Huskies again came up with an interception, off a tipped pass. Seven plays later, Savage ran in from 6 yards out to give Reno a 20-6 lead.
The 14-point lead would stand at halftime.
Manogue came back to life in the fourth quarter, still trailing 20-6.
Farthing connected with Shane Talbott on a 14-yard pass, then Patrick Hinojosa caught a shovel pass and ran 26 yards for the score to tie the game with 4:06 to play.
Both teams punted, then Reno took over on its own 18-yard line. Kurtis Pavilionis hauled in a pass at midfield.
Three plays later, Savage ran 39 yards to the Manogue 5-yard line to set up Graybar.
“Coach called a quarterback draw. The line had the holes and I found it,” Savage said.
Reno coach Dan Avansino said his team needs to clean up a lot of aspects of the game, but he was happy with how the Huskies responded.
“That’s not taking anything away from Manogue, not meant to slight them at all,” Avansino said. “A lot of credit to our kids for being resilient and when they had a chance to win the game, they did.”
Avansino said Savage picked the correct seam on his long run.
Manogue coach Paul Mills said Savage is a great athlete and football player.
“Defensively, they did some stuff against us that made it hard to be consistent offensively,” Mills said.