Tyler Majewski's perfect touchdown pass to Joe Breeden with time winding down was the perfect type of ending football players dream of Friday night at Burlington Central's Rocket Hill.
These were two seniors playing in a game where a Big Northern East title and playoff berth was at stake before a big home crowd.
Majewski lofted the ball over a couple of North Boone defenders and Breeden raced under it on the left sideline and took it into the end zone from 22 yards with 1:10 to play.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, all the late touchdown did was prevent a shutout as they are most likely going to be left out of the 256-team playoff field when it is announced tonight. Senior quarterback-safety Austin Baden led a perfect first-half storm where North Boone did all of its scoring to win the division title outright with a 36-7 victory.
"We expected tonight that we'd have to win to get in," said Burlington Central coach Rich Crabel, whose 5-win team probably won't have enough playoff points for an at-large berth. "If something happens we get to play another game."
The unexpected season for North Boone (8-1, 5-1) took another surprise twist as Richmond-Burton (6-3, 4-2) was upset 14-12 by Harvard.
Baden completed 26 of 32 passes for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns and rushed for 63 yards to lead his school to its first conference title since 2004 and first playoff berth since 2005.
"It's a fantastic feeling," Baden said after North Boone rebounded from a 38-14 loss last week to R-B. "Everyone did a great job. We threw (last week's loss) under the bus and we just came out ready for this game."
Baden led a 13-play, 70-yard drive on the game's opening possession that A.J. Briggs capped with a 7-yard touchdown run. He also threw touchdown passes of 41, 37 and 24 yards to Jon Lilly (7 catches, 185 yards), ran for 27-yard score, kicked 4 extra points and turned a fumbled snap and scramble on another into a 2-point conversion pass to Nathan Bodey.
"In the huddle when we were waiting for the game to start I told everybody the defense would make stops and the offense would score on every possession," Baden said after North Boone had a 348-32 advantage in total yards at halftime and 399-164 for the game.
"They played well and they're a good football team," Crabel said. "We didn't take advantage of the things we should have."
The banged-up Rockets (5-4, 4-2), who won five of their first six games, hoped to have Majewski on the receiving end of passes from Casey Matthews. But after halftime, Crabel went to Majewski at quarterback and he finished 5-for-8 for 72 yards.
"I figured we'd go back and give him the opportunity to finish the year there," Crabel said. "Casey is one of the kids we're looking at for next year and we wanted the opportunity to put Tyler back at receiver because he's a pretty good weapon at receiver. Unfortunately we couldn't get him the ball the way we wanted to."