Big plays spelled big trouble for Janesville Craig’s football team Friday night.
Madison East got scoring plays of 45, 40 and 25 yards to escape a soggy Monterey Stadium with a 28-22 victory in overtime in a Big Eight Conference slugfest. The game was delayed more than an hour in the second quarter due to lightning.
In winning for the second straight week in overtime, East (3-3) completed the city sweep.
Craig, despite tying the game late in the game, fell to 1-5.
“There were a lot of positives for us tonight,” Craig coach Adam Bunderson said. “We ran the ball well, and our pass defense came a long way tonight, but we just couldn’t avoid those couple of big plays.”
Craig tied the game with just over a minute to play on Eric Hughes’ 1-yard run and a Hughes 2-point conversion run.
The Cougars got the ball to start the overtime, but after getting a first down to the 15-yard line, the offense stalled on the next four plays and was not able to generate any points.
East was stuffed on its first two plays at the 25, but on third-and-10, Phil Roh III hit Jevan Boyton on a perfect slant pass over the middle and the junior wideout outraced two Craig defenders to the right pylon for the game-winner.
Craig finished with 312 yards rushing, but East’s Devion Clay shredded the Cougars defense for 289 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
“We did a lot of things well, but it wasn’t enough,” Bunderson said. “That’s football sometimes.”
East struck first. The Purgolders went 75 yards on 11 plays, capped by Roh III’s 4-yard TD run.
Craig took a brief lead on Hughes’ first touchdown pass of the season late in the first half. Hughes hit Parker Glissendorf with a well-designed screen pass, and the senior tailback broke two tackles to score from 25 yards with 24 seconds left in the half. Marshaun Harriel ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 8-7.
But Roh III needed only two plays following the kickoff to put the Purgolders back on top before halftime. He hit Brandon Conners for 20 yards to move the ball down to the Craig 40 with four seconds left.
With a Hail Mary pass the only chance for East to score, Roh III threw a perfect ball to a streaking Keonte Jones, who somehow came down with the ball between two Craig defenders in the end zone to make it 13-8 at half.
Craig hosts Middleton next Friday.
EAST 28, CRAIG 22 (OT)
Madison East 7 6 9 0 6—28
Janesville Craig:0 8 6 8 0—22
Scoring: E—Phil Roh III 4 run (Jacob Link kick). C—Parker Glissendorf 25 pass from Eric Hughes (Marshaun Harriel run). E—Keonte Jones 40 pass from Roh III (pass failed). E—Hughes 8 run (run failed). E—Devion Clay 45 run (pass failed). E—Link 33 field goal. E—Hughes 1 run (Hughes run). E—Jevan Boyton 25 pass from Roh III
Statistics: First downs—E 14, C 23. Rushes—E 39-294, C 59-312. Yards passing—E 155, C 103. Passes—E 24-12-0, C 16-10-1. Fumbles—E 1-0, C 2-1. Penalties—E 4-45, C 3-15