Overtime brings Homecoming win


C.J. Franklin (12) runs a 40-yard touchdown pass to take the lead 21-7 in the third quarter of the Homecoming game, Oct. 13. This was the Wolverines’ first overtime game and their second time ever beating Poway.

Poway: 36, Westview: 37

After a brief talk to the team, head coach Kyle Williams sent the offense onto the field for what would be the final play of Westview’s Homecoming game Friday. The Wolverines trailed 36-35 against rival Poway, after just scoring a touchdown. Instead of kicking the extra point, the offense set up for a two-point conversion from the 2-yard line to win the game. Quarterback Beau Nelson (12) received the snap and quickly scanned the field for a target. He caught wide receiver Benjamin O’Brien (10), out of the corner of his eye running a route to the right side. With a quick motion, he sent the ball floating in the air toward O’Brien.

“It felt like the longest pass that’s ever been thrown to me,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien caught the pass, giving Westview its second win against Poway in 15 games, with a final score of 37-36.

The score was tied at 29 when Westview headed into its first overtime in its 16-year history. Players from both teams congregated in the center of the field to hear the rules and call the coin toss.

In an overtime scenario, each team starts at their opponent’s 25-yard line and gets a chance to score a touchdown. If the first team scores a touchdown, then the other team has one chance to score one as well. After a touchdown, teams also have the option of kicking an extra point, or attempting a two-point conversion. This continues until one team scores and the other doesn’t. Westview won the toss and chose to defer the ball.

“We wanted to play defense first because after they had the ball, we wanted to know how many points we would need to score,” Williams said.

Poway kicked off their drive with a 20-yard run that was stopped by Travis Allen (12) at the 5-yard line. Continuing to build on their momentum, they managed to get to the 1-yard line and on fourth and goal, Elkington dove into the end zone. With that, Westview needed a touchdown to keep the game alive.

After the Titans kicked an extra point, it was now Westview’s chance to go on offense. Nelson fired the ball to Elijah Johnson (10) who gained some extra yards to make it to the 2-yard line, putting Westview into scoring position. On the next play, Nelson handed the ball off to Joe Bennett (12) who punched through the defensive line for a touchdown. The score now read 36-35.

As soon as overtime started, Williams had already made the decision to go for a two-point conversion if Poway scored their touchdown.

“The reason that decision was made was because when you look at the momentum of the game, after Poway scored their touchdown in overtime, that was their fourth touchdown of the second half and we had only had one,” Williams said.

Rather than opting to kick for the extra point, which would extend the game, Williams decided to finish the game right then and there by putting his faith in the offense. One play from the 2-yard line would decide the outcome of the game.

The Black Hole sat in quiet anticipation as the offense returned to the field. Instead of their usual cheering, the crowd fell into complete silence. Nelson took the final snap and quickly dropped back. O’Brien evaded a cornerback and was open in the right side of the end-zone. Nelson spotted him and lobbed the ball his way. O’Brien cradled the ball, making sure not to drop it and the moment he slid on his back to the ground, the home crowd erupted into cheers as many players ran into the stands to celebrate with the Black Hole. O’Brien had just caught the pass to win the game.

“I can’t think of a better moment in my life,” O’Brien said. “With the trust of our coach and the trust of our receivers and the offensive line, and of course [Nelson]  and our defense, I think we knew that we were going to get the win.”

Nelson said he also felt that a win was attainable at the beginning of the game, and cited the Black Hole’s support as a major factor in the game.

“I think from the start of the game, we were pretty confident, but right as we scored, I think it was the third touchdown, that was a huge tide-turner, and we lost a bit of momentum,” Nelson said. “In great games, a lot of times, there’s a lot of little momentum shifts between teams, and it’s really about whoever gets that last punch in. We were lucky to have the ball, and our coach did a great job in putting us in that position. It was really well-executed.