SHEBOYGAN – Sheboygan North high school quarterback Turner Kraus faced a third-and-17 situation last Friday. When he tried to hit his receiver for a quick out route, the Manitowoc Lincoln defense had other ideas.
“I regretted the pass right away because the defensive end jumped like 6 feet in the air and swatted it,” Kraus said.
Golden Raiders coach Joe O’Brien saw the pass get deflected and was getting ready to send out the punt team.
But then something very unusual happened. The ball was first tipped back to North fullback Isaiah Love-Beringer, who had the wherewithal to swat it back to Kraus after being unable to catch it himself.
“I was not expecting it to fall back to me,” Kraus said, “but when I saw (Love-Beringer) tip it to me, I thought I might as well catch it and take off.”
Ships coach Rick Ducat couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“I thought we’d covered the pass pretty well,” Ducat said, “and then I look up and see a guy running. Then I noticed it was the quarterback.”
When Kraus stopped running 84 yards later, he was in the end zone and had only three words in his head — what just happened?
“My arms were up in the air like I was questioning what I’d just done,” Kraus said. “I think it was more unbelievable to me than even the fans.”
O’Brien, too, was stunned.
“I went from sending the punt team to running down the sidelines almost as fast as Kraus was, and he was racing,” O’Brien said.
The celebration almost cost the team, but O’Brien wasn’t upset.
“It took everyone by surprise,” O’Brien said. “One of our wing backs for the extra point was late getting down the field because he was still celebrating and almost forgot we still had to kick.”
O’Brien said he’s never seen anything like it in his six years as a coach.
“I’ve seen a tipped pass get caught by a receiver, sure, but not the quarterback, especially for a touchdown,” O’Brien said.
And so Kraus’ longest completion for the season will likely end up being to himself. He can also say with a straight face that he scored a touchdown as a receiver, passer and runner in the same game.
“I don’t think anything else will top this,” Kraus said, “It’s very memorable.”