WILMINGTON – Tyler Blume’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Pierce Dhaese pulled Oregon within a point with 9.6 seconds to play. Sawyer Reynolds’ two-point run gave the Hawks a miraculous first-round playoff win.
The late-game heroics resulted in a 22-21 Oregon win over Wilmington on Saturday night at Becker Field.
“We have a really good passing game, but we haven’t shown it all year,” Dhaese said. “We finally got it going. It felt great. Tyler put the ball in perfect spots, allowing me to go get it.”
“It all went so fast,” Blume said. “I thought we were done when we had that last turnover on downs. It all came together tonight.”
Trailing 21-14 with just 1:27 remaining after turning the ball over on downs, things looked bleak for Oregon (6-4).
But the Hawks held state-ranked Wilmington (8-2) to a three-and-out and used their timeouts. They got the ball back with 50.6 seconds left at their own 43.
On Oregon’s second play of their final drive, Blume hit Chris Jordan for 14 yards, then connected with Dhaese for 30 to the Wilmington 9.
Blume spiked the ball to stop the clock with 13.6 ticks left. Blume then drilled the 9-yard TD to Dhaese on a slant from the right. Suddenly, it was 21-20 with 9.6 seconds on the clock.
The Hawks did not flinch, deciding to go for the winning two-point conversion.Reynolds scored relatively easily on a dive play off the left side.
“That’s one of the greatest feelings ever,” Reynolds said. “This is probably the best night of my life. That’s Oregon Hawk football right there. That’s what we’re known for, is cramming it.”
The final score was Oregon’s only lead.
Wilmington went up 7-0 on a 56-yard drive on its first possession.
The Hawks, who did not have a first down in the first quarter, hit a big play, as Blume and Dhaese connected on a 70-yard TD pass. The point after was botched because of a high snap, and it was 7-6 with 10:20 left in the second quarter.
The Wildcats took advantage of a controversial turnover when it was ruled that a Wilmington punt hit returner Nick Newman, and the Cats recovered at the Oregon 15.On the next play, Wilmington’s Nick McWilliams scored. The point after made it 14-6 with 10:20 left in the third quarter.
The Hawks pulled even when Garrett Rude busted a 71-yard run, and Reynolds scored from 7 yards out on the next play. Blume then hit Josh Cook for the two-point conversion, and it was 14-all with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.
Wilmington went up 21-14 with a 65-yard TD drive that was capped with a 19-yard pass.
Star of the game: Pierce Dhaese, Oregon, 136 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Key performers: Tyler Blume, Oregon, 150 passing yards, 2 TDs; Nick McWilliams, Wilmington, 131 rushing yards, 2 TDs; Garrett Rude, Oregon, 108 rushing yards
Up next: Oregon vs. ?, Class 3A second-round playoff game, TBA