RALEIGH — Connor Mitch prayed. That's all he could do. Standing on the sidelines, the Wakefield quarterback didn't want his interception late in the fourth quarter to become the turning point against Broughton.
As the Caps lined up to attempt the tying field goal, Mitch put his head down. The game was moving so fast that Wakefield coach J.D. Dinwiddie couldn't call a timeout to freeze kicker Hayden Pezzoni. Good thing he didn't. The sixth-ranked Wolverines blocked Pezzoni's 33-yard attempt with 1.1 seconds left to secure a 45-42 victory Thursday night.
"Me and a couple buddies were holding each other," Mitch said of the kick. "I had no idea what was going to happen."
That was almost true for what did happen. Amid the celebration of the game-saving block, here was the most interesting part for the Wolverines (8-2, 5-1 Cap Eight 4-A): Not one person on the team could tell who actually blocked the kick.
Mitch had no clue. He just heard the cheers while his head was down, praying. Dinwiddie kind of saw the play, but he couldn't tell who was able to get a hand on the football.
"No, I didn't see who got it," Dinwiddie said. "I won't know until I see the film."
From across the field, Broughton coach Chris Martin did see the difference in the game. Pezzoni kicked the ball low, which allowed multiple Wolverines with their hands up the opportunity for the block.
"I think he was trying to drill it too hard," Martin said. "He's going to be a good kicker, and he'll win us some ballgames. I just told the team we can't play just one half and win a game."
In a game that produced more than 1,000 yards combined by both teams, another special teams play gave the Wolverines their final touchdown.
With less than 7 minutes remaining, Dinwiddie didn't want to give the Caps the ball back with just a three-point lead. So he called a fake punt, which resulted in receiver Rashawn Barnes - who caught four touchdown passes - running 25 yards to set up Mitch's fifth touchdown pass.
"That was in my mind in the first quarter," Dinwiddie said. "I always have that one in a back pocket."
The 10-point lead was just enough. Although Broughton (5-5, 2-3) threw for 578 yards, quarterback Will Cooper needed 16 more, as his third-down throw on the final drive was dropped by Thomas Brown in the end zone.
"It was the craziest game I've ever been a part of," Mitch said. "This was everything you dream of as an offense. The shootout was awesome."
After the game, Dinwiddie's daughter ran to him. The little girl, wrapped up in Dinwiddie's arms, asked her father what had just happened.
"We beat the purple team," Dinwiddie said, "barely."
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