by Beau Wicker
Logansport’s football team had what would have been a huge win in its grasp against Anderson on Friday night.
But after a chaotic and controversial finish, the Berries somehow found themselves on the losing end when the final second ticked off the clock.
Anderson’s Cody Gray kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Indians to a 29-28 win in front of a stunned crowd at Berry Stadium.
“It’s tough,” Logan coach Brad Urban said. “All three phases had a chance to close it out. We just didn’t get it done.”
The Berries (0-4, 0-2 North Central Conference) were in control in the final minute and had a chance to pin the Indians (1-3, 1-1) into what would have been a nearly impossible spot to get out of. Punting in Anderson territory on the Indians’ 39-yard line with 37 seconds left in the game, a bad snap sailed over punter Marcus Record’s head.
“We hadn’t had a bad snap all year, and you get the one bad snap when you need a good snap the most,” Urban said.
The botched punt snap gave the Indians the ball at the Logan 47-yard line with 29 seconds left.
Anderson quarterback Gaven Owens then hit Brandon Chapman for a 8-yard completion. Out of timeouts, the Indians stopped the clock with 10 seconds remaining with the ball at the 39-yard line on third-and-2.
Owens then dropped back and delivered a spiral down the middle of the field. Record swatted it away, but an alert Jerian Beard made an unbeliable diving catch, hauling it in right before it hit the ground. The Indians now had the ball at the 4-yard line with 2 seconds remaining.
“I was right there, tipped it, and he just ended up being in the right spot at the right time,” Record said. “He made a great play.”
Amidst chaos, the referees allowed the Indians to line up and completely get set before starting the clock. The Indians then spiked the ball but the final 2 seconds ran off the clock. The referees allowed an extra second to be put back on, and Gray split the uprights from short distance to give the Indians the win.
It took a perfect sequence of events for the Indians to pull out the miracle.
The referees could have started the clock sooner after Beard’s 35-yard completion at the 4-yard line which would not have allowed time for a field goal.
“I thought they could have gotten the ball spotted quicker from all that yardage, but for some reason they waited a long time to spot the ball,” Urban said. “Most games they don’t give you that much time to get up there.”
Urban also argued the Indians made an illegal substitution on the game-winning field goal attempt.
“All I know is they broke the huddle, ran a guy off the field, ran another guy on,” Urban said. “It was hard to keep track. We’ll just have to look at the film.”
Beard rushed for 144 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns to lead the Indians. He added eight catches for 78 yards.
“Their running back is as tough as you’re going to see,” Urban said.
Owens was 19-of-33 passing for 199 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Tight end Robby Peal had 5 catches for 74 yards and a TD.
The Berries rushed for 296 yards in the contest. Fullback Jacob Shelton eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the second straight game. He rushed for 103 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns to lead them Friday night before leaving the game late with a shoulder injury.
Austin Gaby added 68 yards on eight carries, and Record had 50 yards on four carries. Quarterback Ryan Schrock had a 1-yard TD run set up by his 36-yard burst in the first half that gave the Berries an early 14-0 lead. They led 21-7 at halftime.
The Indians came out strong in the second half and got to within 21-14 after three quarters. Both teams started the fourth quarter with quick scores. The Indians got to within 28-20 on a 47-yard TD reception by Peal. The Berries were offsides on the extra point so the Indians went for 2 but were stuffed on a run play.
On the Indians’ next score with 1:32 left in the game, Beard dropped the 2-point conversion pass in the end zone that would have tied it. The Indians’ ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, giving the Berries the ball on the Anderson 45-yard line with Anderson having two timeouts left.
Gaby added a fumble recovery and a sack on defense for the Berries. Kevin Gonzalez also had a fumble recovery. Khalil Carter and Jacob Brown each had an interception. Carter added a team-high 11.5 tackles.
“We both fought real well. It came down to the very end. They made a great play,” Record said. “It was just a great game. I’m glad to be part of it. I wish we could have pulled it off.
“We played great, we’ve just got to finish, that’s really what it is. We’ve got to play through four quarters. We’ve just got to finish.”
Logan travels to Marion next week.