Thrilling finish gives Waubonsie's Baumgartner 1st win
You couldn't ask for a better way to claim your first coaching victory.
With the game on the line, seconds ticking away and a fourth-down play on your rival's football field, Waubonsie Valley coach Tom Baumgartner called for a fade pass to senior Sean Clinton. The pass was great, but so was the coverage. The catch by Clinton was even better as he hauled the ball in the left corner of the end zone with a defender all over him for the game-winning touchdown.
The 6-yard catch on fourth down put the visitors ahead 26-24 with 35.1 seconds to play. When Ladale West intercepted a Logan Frederick pass moments later, it sealed the memorable win for Baumgartner, a longtime Warriors assistant coach now in his first year as the head coach.
"Absolutely, it was a great win," said Clinton, who finished with 3 catches for 30 yards. "Our offensive line stepped up. Our defense stepped up. It was all of us."
The Warriors (1-1) had rallied from a 10-0 deficit to lead 14-10 at the half and then 20-10 after three quarters before the Mustangs stormed ahead 24-20 in the fourth quarter behind a Frederick TD pass to Jalen Johnson and then a 6-yard scoring run by the Metea quarterback. But Waubonsie quarterback Nathan Pappas drove his team down to the Mustangs 2 for a first and goal situation before the hosts pushed them back to the six to set up the critical fourth don play.
"At the end of the day, I just decided to put the game in the hands of Sean, a senior leader," Baumgartner said of his decision to call for the fade pass with the game on the line. "It was a great throw and the coverage was great but Sean made the play for us."
The rivalry game, with the Eola Bowl Trophy on the line, went back and forth with both teams bouncing back over and over.
Frederick was chased around and knocked down several times, but finished with 253 yards through the air and three total touchdowns. Warriors running back Jabron Lee picked up 158 tough yards and a score on the ground on 30 carries, but the game was decided in the final seconds after Pappas led the team on the game-winning 65-yard drive.
"That was just great. Huge props to Sean for making that catch and huge props to the O line," said Pappas.
The end was tough on Metea Valley coach John Parpet, but he felt his team let too many chances slip away earlier in the game, in particular a first-and-goal at the 2 in the first half that only led to a field goal.
"They beat us up front on both sides of the ball. But I can't say enough about that kid," Parpet said while pointing at Frederick. "He's the best quarterback I've ever coached. He took a beating and kept making plays."