Evergreens win thrillerGame-winning TD comes with 27 seconds remaining
By: By Mike Granlund, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
TURTLE LAKE — The Northwood-Solon Springs Evergreen football team took a giant step toward a third consecutive playoff berth Thursday night with an exciting 23-22 come-from-behind win over Turtle Lake.
The win gives the ’Greens a 4-3 Small Lakeland Conference record and a 5-3 overall record.
Thursday’s game started with the Lakers scoring to take a 6-0 lead. Northwood tied it up with a 49-yard touchdown run by quarterback Phil Larson. Josh Malone’s two-point conversion made it 8-6 and the score stayed that way at halftime thanks to a Nick Murray fumble recovery in the end zone when it appeared Turtle Lake was about to score.
Turtle Lake scored in the third quarter to take a 14-8 lead, but once again Northwood-Solon Springs responded with a perfect spiral from Larson to Malone from 25 yards out to tie it up. The extra-point try by kicking resulted in a bobbled snap that Malone turned into two points anyway as he sprinted to the corner of the end zone.
Another third-quarter score by Turtle Lake made it 22-16 and set up Evergreen drama at the end.
Getting the ball at its own 25 with 6:26 to go in the game, Northwood-Solon Springs drove down to the 10-yard line. The drive was highlighted by a 25-yard completion on a fullback pass from Brad Ross to Malone on third down and 26.
With less than a minute to play, and a third down at the 10, Evergreen coach Jason Fox switched Larson to end and inserted sophomore Brett Missinne at quarterback. An incompletion and a penalty made it fourth down on the 15 when Missinne lofted a pass in the end zone that Larson outfought three Laker defenders for a touchdown that tied the game 22-22 with just 27 seconds on the clock. Larson then kicked the extra point to give Northwood-Solon Springs the exciting win.
Dylan Thill scored all three touchdowns for the Lakers, ran for 126 yards and passed for 68 more. Turtle Lake is now 4-3.
Fox was elated saying he had a lot of confidence in both Missinne and Larson at the end of the game.
Northwood will host the Siren Dragons at 7 p.m. Thursday. A win would guarantee a playoff berth for the Evergreens. A loss would put them on the bubble for consideration.