I’ve been calling high school football games off and on for 30 years. I’ve never seen an ending like we experienced in Washington’s stunning 23-21 victory over state power Sacred Heart Griffin in the second round Class 6A state playoff game.
Call it the Washington Wonder or whatever, but Panther quarterback Caleb Fisher scrambled to stay alive on the last play of the game with Washington needing a touchdown to win, then launched a pass on the run 30 yards into the right corner of the end zone. From my vantage point, sticking my head outside the tiny windows of the very dated Washington press box, I saw Panther receiver Jackson Gendron flash toward the sideline, jumping and just maybe getting a left hand on the overthrown Hail Mary. “Incomplete” I called on air. Game and season over for the previously unbeaten and season-long, #1-ranked (5A) Panthers.
But wait, standing behind Gendron and a Cyclones defender was star running back Sam Walter, who leaped into the air to snag the pass and pull victory out of the jaws of defeat. Tony Johnson or Tom Meredith, videotaping and sideline reporting, quickly corrected my play by play call of incomplete pass. Touchdown Washington! Victory over the 5-time state champions and a third straight trip to the quarterfinals for Washington! Watch the play below!
What a finish for Washington, 3rd and goal from the 20, :2.9 seconds to play, trailing 21-17. Caleb Fisher scrambles to find Sam Walter for the 23-21 win over Springfield SHG. 95.5 Red Zone Game of the Week.
Posted by Tom Meredith on Saturday, November 3, 2018
Now, you’ll be able to hear the Washington Elite Eight game at Crete Monee on 95.5, GLO, with our next playoff edition of the Super Nutrition Red Zone Game of the Week Saturday. Pregame begins at 1:30, featuring my interview with HFC Darrell Crouch, 2 pm kickoff. Tom Meredith joins me as broadcast partner, with Tony Johnson out of state for Caterpillar extracurriculars.
And what a game we saw and called at Babcook Field on Saturday. SHG went up 14-0 early in the second quarter before Washington answered with 10 points before the half. Washington dominated the third quarter, allowing SHG just 4 plays offensively, but didn’t score until early in the fourth quarter, when Fisher hit Rylan McQueary for an 8-yard TD strike to put the Panthers up 17-14.
Washington’s elite defense looked like it had the game iced when Minnesota commit J.J. Guedet forced an SHG fumble and Andres Mendez recovered it late in the 4th, but the officials ruled the play had been blown dead. On 4th and 19, SHG QB Sam Sweetland found Cade Holloway for a TD to put the Cyclones up, 21-17 with 3:05 left in the game.
The Panthers Cole Watkins returned the kickoff to the SHG 49, setting up the final, heroic drive and game-winning, walk-off, Hail Mary pass from Fisher to Walter that will be talked about for decades.
We look forward to following Washington this Saturday at Crete Monee – even though Tom and I will be outside on the bleachers calling the game – on the Super Nutrition Red Zone Game of the Week. Listen on the radio and at this site and by phone by downloading the free station app, anywhere in the world. Super Nutrition on Willow Knolls in Peoria specializes in the sale of health, wellness, vitamins, and sport nutrition products.