Haynesville, much like their opponent Union Parish, is a team built to run the ball effectively, control the clock and end their lengthy drives with touchdowns. Essentially, their offenses play the entire game as if they are up by one possession with a few minutes remaining: an exhibition in effective power running that keeps drives alive while in no hurry from a tempo perspective.
Haynesville was given that exact opportunity.
“Haynesville had the ball with six minutes left and they were driving the ball down our throats, running the clock out and taking their time,” Union Parish coach Joe Spatafora sad.
Given the circumstances, there had to be some in attendance that declared the game effectively over. Union Parish had a different idea.
Haynesville did finish that drive with a touchdown, but Union Parish scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes of the game to avenge last season’s loss to Haynesville with a 27-26 win.
“They scored and that’s what gave them that 13-point lead, but Mizavier Lewis blocked the extra point to only give them 26,” Spatafora said.
Union Parish took over and scored to cut Haynesville’s lead down to six points with Desmond Turner’s touchdown run.
Quarterback Chase Spatafora then converted an onside kick, something Joe Spatafora said they practice every day, before leading the Farmers down the field for the game-winning touchdown with 20 seconds left. Chase Spatafora threw a touchdown pass to Nijeel Meeking to win it.
“That two-minute offense stayed calm and did a great job,” Joe Spatafora said. “When we went down 13 points, they were on the sidelines saying, ‘Keep your heads up. We got this, we’re going to make this happen.’ That’s what they did.
“We practice two-minute every day. Sometimes even I don’t want to do it so we wait until the end of practice, but they executed it very well. Chase did an excellent job of leading us there. That’s why you play four quarters and that’s why I always tell my kids to play until the last whistle blows. There’s no doubt they did that (Friday) night.”
The win gives Union Parish (1-1) a much needed surge of offensive confidence after turnovers plagued the jamboree loss to Calvary Baptist and the season opening loss to Airline.
“It’s going to be a big boost for us,” Joe Spatafora said. “Now we get to play at home and we haven’t been at home yet, not in the scrimmage or anything. We’ve been on the road for the last four weeks and now our guys get to play on their home field under their own lights.”
Follow Brett on Twitter, @BHudsonTNS.