ATHENA - "Holy cow!" Weston-McEwen coach Kenzie Hansell said. "The game was an offensive show, no joke!
"The game was a lot of fun," he said. "Neither team gave up, both played offense really well and everybody saw what both teams could do."
The final score was 41-40 in favor of the home team in a local rivalry football match-up between the W-M TigerScots and the Mac-Hi Pioneers here Friday night.
The game came down to the final minute. The Pioneers closed to within one point on a 60-yard scoring strike with just 47 seconds remaining.
The 60-yard fly pass from Mac-Hi quarterback Derrick Richwine traveled about half that distance in the air. Rick Sandoval plucked the pigskin from the sky and ran through an open field to the end zone.
With the choice between kicking the extra point for a tie or going for the 2-point conversion and a victory, Mac-Hi elected to go for the win on the road. Pioneer senior running back Josh Rutherford, who had already amassed 220 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries, ran the 2-point try up the middle.
But a gang of TigerScot defenders stuffed Rutherford on the one-and-a-half yard line to seal the victory.
"I talked with my coaches," Mac-Hi coach Chuck Pease said, "and they came to the conclusion that the decision to go for it, or not, was my choice. I felt that I had to go for the win in regulation. We could have kicked it and gone into overtime. In retrospect, I should have gone for the tie."
Mac-Hi kicker Francisco Saldana converted on 4-of-5 extra-point tries on the night, and also caught four passes for 29 yards.
Jenson Jones, a second Pioneer senior running back, rushed 18 times for 126 yards.
Richwine completed 8-of-12 passes for 93 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Dallas Reich, Weston-McEwen's junior quarterback, sparked his team's victory, throwing for 235 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 15-of-26 attempts.
The balanced TigerScot attack also included 238 rushing yards.
Reich had a pair of 41-yard scampers to the end zone from his QB position and collected 135 yards on the ground on just 12 rushes.
Reich also picked off an interception from his safety position on defense.
"Dallas Reich is getting more comfortable each game," Hansell said. "We also ran the ball well and the offensive line did very well. For the quarterback to get yards, the receivers have to get open and catch the ball. The receivers did that."
TigerScot running back Elliot Salter also topped the 100-yard mark on 13 carries and scored a touchdown.
The rest of the TigerScot touchdowns went to Reich, who had two in the air and two on the ground.
The TigerScot receivers came up big for Reich, who spread the ball around to six different targets. Aaron Speed caught two long touchdowns, making five receptions in all for 133 yards.
Mac-Hi's Rutherford also scored four rushing touchdowns, two from 50 yards out.
The Mac-Hi offense picked up almost 500 yards on the ground, and about 100 through the air.
Pease was quick to praise his entire team on its performance.
"It was a tremendous effort on the entire team, so much improvement over last week," he said. "Skill-wise and effort-wise were huge positive steps. Our team really worked and prepared to play this well this week. I'm proud of them.
"I love this game and it was well-played tonight," Pease continued. "It was a good rival game with two good programs and so close in the end. It will be a game that can be replayed every season and I think both of us coaches plan on building up that rivalry in the years to come."
W-M 41, Mac-Hi 40
Mac-Hi 7 13 7 13 - 40
W-M 14 12 8 7 - 41
W-M - Speed 24 pass Reich (Ceja kick)
Mac - Rutherford 57 run (Saldana kick)
W-M - Salter 3 run (Ceja kick)
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 17 run (Saldana kick)
W-M - Speed 57 pass Reich (kick failed)
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 2 run (Saldana kick)
W-M - Reich 41 run (conversion failed)
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 6 run (Saldana kick)
W-M - Reich 41 run (Salter 2 pt. run)
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 50 run (Saldana kick)
W-M - Speed 15 pass Reich (Ceja kick)
Mac-Hi - Sandoval 60 pass Richwine (conversion failed)
First downs 19 27
Rushes/yards 41-474 26-238
Passing yards 93 235
Passes (Att-Comp-Int) 8-12-2 15-27-0
Punts 2-98 2-75
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-1
Penalties-Yards 4-25 11-110
RUSHING - Mac-Hi: Jones 18-126, Rutherford 20-220, Richwine 3 -28. W-M: Salter 13-100, Reich 12 -135, Bond 1-3.
PASSING - Mac-Hi: Richwine 8-12-2, 93 yards, 1 touchdown. W-M: Reich 15-26-0, 235 yards, 2 touchdowns; McGill 0-1-0.
RECEIVING - Mac-Hi: Jones 2-4, Rutherford 1-1, Saldana 4-29, Sandoval 1-60. W-M: Salter 2-1, Thul 3-15, Bond 3-37, Speed 5-133, McGill 1-18, Babb 2-31.