Evansville High didn’t win a game last season.
Not much went right in an 0-9 campaign.
It’s safe to say that the Blue Devils have put 2018 in the rearview mirror.
Friday night against state-ranked and longtime rival Edgerton, they got a 2-yard touchdown run from quarterback Tyr Severson with nine seconds left to shock the Crimson Tide 19-16 in a Rock Valley Conference thriller.
Evansville improved to 2-0 and snapped Edgerton’s nine-game conference winning streak.
Edgerton (1-1) took its first lead with 1:21 left on Clayton Jenny’s 15-yard touchdown pass from Drew Hanson, but the Blue Devils got the last laugh.
Buoyed by a 53-yard pass to Jaden O’Bel that took the ball down to the Edgerton 11-yard line, Severson capped the game-winning drive by racing around right end on third down for the game-winner with nine seconds left and no time outs.
“Sulley (Geske) ran a great route inside to take his man off the play and give me room to get to the corner,” Severson said.
“And even going out there for that last drive, we all looked at each other and said just keep our cool and run our plays. We never lost confidence, and everybody did what they were supposed to for us to score.”
Edgerton couldn’t get anything going offensively until late, but it’s defense kept things close.
Trailing 12-3 in the fourth, Skylar Gullickson scored on a 2-yard reception to cut the lead to 12-9 with 4:22 left. Jenny’s touchdown grab gave the Tide a short-lived 16-12 lead, setting up Severson’s heroics.
“We left 11 points off the board and that was the difference,” Edgerton coach Mike Gregory said. “There were opportunities we had and didn’t take advantage of them, and if we do, it doesn’t come down to the end.
“What hurts is that we battled so hard to get back from that 12-3 deficit, but then let it get away. But give Evansville credit, too. They made a couple plays at the end.”
Carson Hill pushed the lead to 12-3 midway through the third quarter. The senior tailback found a gaping hole off tackle and scampered 21 yards for the score.
The Blue Devils struck first. Geske made an acrobatic catch at the goal line and fell backward into the end zone to complete a 25-yard scoring strike from Severson. The extra-point attempt kick failed as Evansville took a 6-0 lead with 5:21 left in the half.
Edgerton responded and got on the board with 21 seconds left in the half. The Crimson Tide got down to the Evansville 3-yard line but could not convert on third-and-goal. Ismael Diaz’s 20-yard field goal made it 6-3 at half.
EVANSVILLE 19, EDGERTON 16
Evansville:0:6 6 7—19
Edgerton 0 3 0 13—16
Scoring summary: Ev—Sulley Geske 25 pass from Tyr Severson (kick failed). Ed—Ismael Diaz 20 field goal. Ev—Carson Hill 21 run (kick failed). Ed—Skyler Gullickson 2 pass from Drew Hanson (kick blocked). Ed—Clayton Jenny 15 pass from Hanson (Diaz kick). Ev—Severson 2 run (Matt Forster kick).
Statistics: First downs—Ev 15, Ed 16. Rushes—Ev 30-154, Ed 32-151. Yards passing—Ev 177, Ed 189. Passes—Ev 20-11-0, Ed 27-19-2. Fumbles—Ev 0-0, Ev 1-0. Penalties—Ev 8-50, Ed 9-70.