Perhaps no game this year has been more tense, more exciting and more disappointing for the Girard Trojans than Friday’s 28-27 overtime loss at home to Independence.

Perhaps no game this year has been more tense, more exciting and more disappointing for the Girard Trojans than Friday’s 28-27 overtime loss at home to Independence.

“It was a good football game. I mean, it went into overtime,” said Girard head coach Leon Miller. “It was two good teams going at it.”

There was enough action in the final minutes of the game to give any coach a heart attack. Both teams thought they had won the game several times.

With the score tied 20-20, Girard had the ball with 46 seconds left in the game at its own 9 facing fourth down and one. The pitch to Matt Perez around the right edge was good enough for 4 yards and seemed to put the Trojans in control.

On the next play, Perez appeared to punch it in at the right pylon, but a holding call negated the run and reset the ball at the 13 with 30 seconds left.

Girard opted to pass, but Brayden Johnson’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Demonta Clark, and the game soon went to overtime.

Girard got the ball first and scored quickly, with runs by Anthony Scholes and Perez setting up Brayden Johnson’s 1-yard run to make the score 27-20. The momentum seemed to be going Girard’s way, with Clark running for a loss of 4 and Independence quarterback Dalton Shaffer missing his receiver on second down. On fourth down and goal from the 8, however, Shaffer found Easton Julian for a touchdown. Independence head coach Carl Boldra decided to go for two, even after a five-yard motion penalty put the ball at the 8.

“It was a chance for a win on the road,” Boldra said after the game.

Despite heavy pressure, Shaffer found an open Demonta Clark in the left flat for the two-point conversion and the victory.

“I felt like we played hard,” Miller said about Girard’s efforts. “We had a chance to win it in regulation. We had an unfortunate penalty. That’s what happens. We head to overtime, and we pound it in. You have to give Coach Boldra credit for going for two. They got it done.”
Brayden Johnson had two touchdown passes early in the game for the Trojans, and Anthony Scholes scored on a 70-yard touchdown that included two spin moves just before halftime. Perez also had a big day, rushing 24 times for 124 yards.

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.

BULLDOGS 28, TROJANS 27
Independence    6    8    6    0    8    —    28
Girard            0    20    0    0    7    —    27
IND — T.J. Reed 70 fumble return (pass failed) 2:50 1Q
GHS — Alex Dee 37 pass from Brayden Johnson (Nicholas George kick) 11:51 2Q
IND — Courtlan Hayes 3 run (Hayes run) 11:25 2Q
GHS — Dee 40 pass from Johnson (George kick) 4:46 2Q
GHS — Anthony Scholes 70 run (kick missed) 7.0 2Q
IND — Dallas King 14 pass from Dalton Shaffer (kick blocked) 7:28 3Q
GHS — Johnson 1 run (George kick) OT
IND — Easton Julian 8 pass from Shaffer (Demonta Clark pass from Shaffer) OT
Team statistics
                          IND        GHS
First downs        12          15
Rushing yds.    194        246
Passing         12-20-1    4-7-1
Passing yds.   125          133
Total offense    319         379
Penalties-yds. 8-55         8-55
Fumbles-lost    1-0           2-2
Individual statistics
RUSHING — IND, Hayes 16-80, Clark 9-104, Shaffer 3-9, Reed 2-1. GHS, 24-124, Scholes 15-49, Nicholas George 9-54, Johnson 8-19.
PASSING — IND, Shaffer 12-20-125-2-1. GHS, Johnson 4-7-133-2-1.
RECEIVING — IND, Julian 3-54, King 2-24, Clark 4-25, Reed 2-22, Devin Thompson 1-0. GHS, Dee 2-77, Trenton Stolte 1-40, Matt Perez 1-16.