Janesville Parker was perhaps inches away from winning its first football game of the season Friday night.
Instead, a pair of fourth-down stops helped Madison East win its second game in a row.
East senior Keonte Jones, after catching a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, scored in overtime to give the host Purgolders a 23-17 victory over Parker at Breese Stevens Field.
The Vikings, who got the ball to start overtime, faced a fourth down when running back Michael Anderson was taken down behind the line of scrimmage. However, a facemask penalty put the ball at the 2, and Garrett Sanwick was stopped just short of the goal line.
“I thought Garrett got in, but I guess not,” Parker coach Clayton Kreger said.
“So we’ll look at it on film.”
The Vikings deflected the Purgolders’ first pass of overtime, and then the teams traded penalties before Jones scored on an out route just inside the end zone.
Madison East quarterback Phil Roh III finished with 297 passing yards and three touchdowns, and Jones hauled in six passes for 74 yards and two scores.
“I think we played pretty well in the pass game until the end there,” Kreger said. “We held them to 17 points (in regulation), which is a pretty good job.”
The Vikings, who led 14-10, also faced a fourth-and-one at their own 24-yard line with just over five minutes to play. Madison East stopped quarterback Sam O’Leary on a sneak to regain possession. On the next play, Jones got behind the defense for a catch to give the Purgolders (2-3, 2-3 Big Eight) their first lead of the game.
“I asked our seniors what they wanted to do,” Kreger said. “They wanted to go for it, and that’s what we did.”
Parker (0-5, 0-5) was attempting to end a losing streak that now covers 21 games since a 28-3 victory over Madison East on Aug. 31, 2017.
When the Vikings got the ball back with 5:11 remaining, Sanwick ran to the left for 15 yards and then picked up a first down on fourth-and-one at the Madison East 35-yard line.
Junior tight end Matthew Hartwig, who had only two catches on the night, took an interception away from the Purgolders and landed at the 2-yard line with 49 seconds left.
After the possession stalled, junior kicker David Zavala hit a 21-yard field goal with 19 seconds left to force overtime.
Anderson carried the ball 27 times for 101 yards, while Sanwick finished with 68 yards on the ground.
“You look at guys like Nathan White and Bryce Heerey and Justin Schoville and Jack Schoville and all those seniors, it’s their team,” Kreger said of his seniors. “They’ve put in the time for four years, so we’re going to ride those guys until the very end, and they’re going to keep giving everything they’ve got.”
Parker will travel to Middleton next Friday for a 7 p.m. kick.
EAST 23, PARKER 17
Janesville Parker 14 0 0 3 0—17
Madison East 7 3 0 7 6—23
Scoring: P—Matthew Hartwig 21 pass from Sam O’Leary (David Zavala kick). ME—Owen Tyler 10 pass from Phil Roh III (Jacob Link kick). P—Garrett Sanwick 2 run (Zavala kick). ME—Link 27 FG. ME—Keonte Jones 24 pass from Roh (Link kick). P—Zavala 21 FG. ME—Jones 10 pass from Roh.
Statistics: Rushing—P 49-197, ME 25-79. Yards passing—P-116, ME-297. Passes—P 7-6-0, ME 30-21-1. Fumbles—P 3-0, ME 7-0. Penalties—P 5-50, ME 11-81.