Elizabeth's last-minute touchdown downs Piscataway

Elizabeth's last-minute touchdown downs Piscataway

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Elizabeth's last-minute touchdown downs Piscataway

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Three plays, 98 yards and 39 seconds. That was how long it took Elizabeth to secure a miraculous 37-33 victory over Piscataway on Friday night in the North 2 Group V final.

Piscataway (9-3) was on the verge of putting away the game with less than a minute to go, but Elizabeth (11-0) did something it couldn’t do all night — it stopped senior back Cameron Nash at its 2 — leaving star senior quarterback Phillip Walker one last chance.

And he made good of it.

Three Walker passes — a 18-yard pass to Jahad Thomas to the 20, a 31-yard pass to Kason Campbell and a 49-yard touchdown pass to Thomas with :36 left in regulation — were the difference.

The Chiefs came down the field with no timeouts. Senior quarterback Nadir Barnwell was sacked and time ran out — the ball stripped, recovered by the Minutemen. It was the only turnover of the game.

Walker was 13 of 23 for 358 yards and four touchdowns, with nine carries for 63 yards and a two-point conversion.

The Chiefs scored on five of seven possessions, but a sixth would have given them a ninth sectional title. Nash carried the ball 26 times for 215 yards and four touchdowns, his final one with 2:30 left and looked like it might be enough.

Last year, the Chiefs won the game 41-34 courtesy of a late interception and touchdown run by Tevn Shaw with 17 seconds left.

Barnwell, whose team was facing a third-and-19 from its 37, picked up 21 yards for a killer first down with 5:30 left in regulation to keep the Chiefs in business.

Elizabeth appeared to have wrested momentum after answering a long Piscataway touchdown drive with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Walker to Thomas and Walker’s conversion run that cut the Chiefs lead to 26-24 with 3:28 left in the third quarter.

Senior Tyrell Judson was then hit hard on the ensuing kickoff. But Piscataway’s Dajon Foat ran for 14 yards on the first play after the kickoff, the first of a seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive that ended with Nash’s fourth touchdown of the game — a 10-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter and Chris Mosier’s kick after to make it 33-24 .

Five players took carries in Piscataway’s opening drive of the second half. The Chiefs went 11 plays, 71 yards — 10 runs and one pass — with 6:51 coming off the clock, ending with Nash’s third touchdown of the game to give Piscataway a 26-16 lead with 5:10 left in the third quarter.

Piscataway argued that Kyle LaPorte recovered a fumble on Elizabeth’s second play after the Nash touchdown, but officials ruled that the play had been whistled dead. On the next play, Kason Campbell hauled in a Hughes pass at the Chiefs’ 25 and raced in to complete a 58-yard touchdown play with 3:28 to go in the third quarter to cut the lead to 26-22. Piscataway was called offsides twice, allowing Hughes the chance to score two.

Senior David Claybook found himself wide open as time was running out in the first half, catching a 59-yard pass from Barnwell left with 1:07 left to give the Chiefs a 20-16 lead at intermission.

Campbell scored from 14 yards out with 2:03 left in the half as Elizabeth regained the lead at 16-13. Gustavo Briones’ point-after attempt failed.

Piscataway’s drive went 4:36 minutes, running 12 plays and travelling 73 yards to regain the lead with 4:36 left in the second quarter to give the Chiefs their first lead at 13-10.

Briones hit a field goal from 31 yards out with 6:17 left in the first quarter and Elizabeth led 10-7. Walker had 171 yards of total offense in the first quarter — 126 passing, 45 rushing.

Nash scored from 72 yards out on Piscataway’s second play of the game, bouncing outside and just beating Thomas to the end zone. Nash came into the game with 1,011 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Elizabeth took the lead on the third play of the game as Thomas caught a Walker pass at the 26 and raced in for a 51-yard touchdown.

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