Dom Myers was too happy to feel any of the bumps and bruises that are usually associated with a 42-carry night.
Sam Carlson was living in the moment as the senior quarterback threw a perfect fadeaway touchdown pass to freshman Larenzo Fenner to help Fort Osage claim a 32-28 upset victory over Raytown Friday night on the Indians’ home turf.
And the Fort Osage defense, that has been the trademark of the highly successful team for more than a decade, bent a couple of times, but when it needed to make a big play against Joe Campbell and the Blue Jays, it answered the call.
“This just feels so good,” said Carlson, who threw five touchdowns in his first start this season. “I remember that first game, because I made so many mistakes and I want to make sure that I never make those mistakes again. The coach, my teammates, the guys on offense and defense have had my back all season and it feels so good to win this game tonight.”
The Blue Jays had taken a 28-25 lead with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard run by Dontae Manning. Manning not only scored the go-ahead touchdown, he added the two-point conversion run to give his team a three-point lead.
That’s when Myers and Carlson went to work. The Indians had the ball on their own 48 and Myers carried the ball six straight times. Combine his carries with a roughing the passer penalty and it was first-and-10 from the 17.
The offense stalled, and it was fourth-and-4 from 14 when the Indians called timeout.
“I wanted to go with a run, but my coaches talked me out of it,” head coach Brock Bult said. “They saw something and said that Zo (Fenner) could beat his man one on one to the corner, so that’s what we called.”
When the play was called, Carlson thought, “We can do this. I know that if I get the ball to Zo he’s going to catch it.”
With 1:28 left in the game, Carlson took the snap, Fenner raced to the near corner of the end zone and the senior quarterback floated a rainbow pass that was so perfect the defender could only watch it sail over his head and into Fenner’s hands.
Hector Hernandez, who had missed two extra point attempts with one sailing wide and the other getting blocked, then kicked the all important extra point that gave his team a four-point lead.
“That play was all Sam,” said Fenner, who finished with four receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. “The pass was perfect – perfect! He threw it right into my hands. All I had to do was catch it.”
Carlson, who finished the night 6 of 14 for 11 yards and the two touchdowns, praised the call.
“They had to have a lot of confidence in me to make that call and I didn’t want to let the coaches or my team down,” Carlson said. “I knew if I got it close, Zo was going to grab it, and he did.”
But there was still 1 minute, 28 seconds left and Campbell is among the most respected and talented quarterbacks in the state.
The Blue Jays started on their own 49, and the Indian defense rose to the occasion. On a fourth-and-3 from the 43, Indian coaches were screaming from the sidelines, “Watch for the double pass!”
And they were right as Campbell tossed the ball to Manning, who lateraled to Adrian Morris, who threw a low pass to Campbell.
The ball trickled off the quarterback’s fingertips as he was well beyond the first-down marker and the Indians’ celebration was about to begin.
“Wow! Oh wow, this is a big one,” said Myers, who scored on runs of 6, 18 and 9 yards and finished with 195 yards rushing. “Our next three games are at home, and we play our best at home. Last year, we were 3-4 and went to the state championship.
“I’m not saying we’re going to the state championship this year, I’m just saying we know how to overcome adversity and win games. This win proves it. Our offense and our defense helped each other out tonight and we got one of the biggest wins of the season.”
Linebacker Dakota Robertson and defensive lineman Valentino Ulberg led an Indians defense that came away with an interception and four sacks. Robertson and Ulberg combined on one sack that forced a fumble that was recovered by Ulberg.
It led to a 6-yard touchdown run by Myers.
“This was a big win,” Robertson said. “The guys on offense got it done and we wanted to get it done on defense.”
Added Ulberg: “We made the most of our opportunities tonight and we overcame some things to get this win.”
Raytown scored the first time it touched the ball when Manning returned a squib kick for a 76-yard touchdown.
“A lot of teams might not have recovered after that, but not this team,” Bult said. “We have overcome a lot this season and this is the game – the win – we’ve been waiting for. I am so proud of these guys.”