It was a game for the ages as the Ballenas Whalers senior football team went head to head with the Mission Roadrunners, losing by a final score of 62-61.
Both teams took advantage of the weather and utilized a running attack that saw 16 rushing touchdowns in total scored through four quarters and overtime.
Controversy showed its ugly head when, in the final drive in overtime, it appeared as though Roadrunners quarterback Jesse Walker had a knee that hit the ground before finding the end zone for the game-winning two-point convert. Without instant video replay, it was left in the hands of the officials who ruled the convert good.
“It’s haunting,” coach Jeremy Conn said after the loss. “We needed to play better out there and not leave it in the hands of the referees. Walker though, he showed he’s the real deal.”
On the play in question, Walker’s knee appeared down in the backfield and coach Conn started to celebrate. No whistle blew on the play and Walker got back to his feet and ran it in.
“It’s a horrible way to end the season,” Conn said. “It’s one of those things that is going to stick. But it was an amazing season. These kids played well and I’m very proud of the effort they have.”
“They played with heart and finished with class, even in such a tough way to lose.”
Whalers running back Coltin LaPlante had a huge game, rushing the ball 59 times for 442 yards and eight touchdowns.
Equally matched on the day, the Roadrunner’s Walker ran for eight touchdowns himself, on 338 yards.
“To score 61 points in a game and still lose, that’s crazy,” Conn said. “I’ve never been a part of a game like that. Coltin was lights out running the ball and Walker was the exactly the same. Coltin had one heck of a performance and whoever gets him (at the next level) is going to have a real good player.”