ZACHARY — Zachary quarterback Trey Hills went into the Broncos’ game with East Feliciana as the second-rated quarterback on the field behind prize college prospect Kendell Beckwith, but he stepped up to lead a key fourth-quarter drive, then throw a touchdown pass in overtime as Zachary bested the Tigers 41-40 in an overtime thriller at the ZHS Corral.
“There was so much pressure. We just had to win the game,” Hills said. “They had a hit on me the whole game. It was the grace of the Lord, and I couldn’t do it without my line.”
Hills threw for 183 yards in the game, and 50 of those came in the last drive of regulation after East Feliciana had gone up 34-27. Two of those were screen passes, one to Forrest Town and one to Boston Scott which carried to the 8-yard line, from where Scott carried in for a touchdown on the next play. Jacob Garrett added the extra point, and the Broncos held for the final 26 seconds, sending the game to overtime.
The overtime lasted four plays. Beckwith threw a touchdown to Trent Anio on the Tigers’ first play, but the Broncos were ready for the Wildcat option on the extra point try and stuffed Kameron McKnight well short of the end zone, leaving the Tigers up by six at 40-34.
Hills found Donald Gage in the end zone for their second touchdown connection of the game on Zachary’s first play, and Garrett was perfect on his fifth kick of the night for the winning point.
“At the end, Jacob Garrett making that kick — it just doesn’t get any more pressure,” Zachary coach Neil Weiner said.
“We work every single week having to make a pressure-packed kick with the whole team on him like that, and he did an awesome job.”
Beckwith was as good as advertised, completing 25 of 35 attempts for 403 yards and five touchdowns. Danny Johnson caught two of the TD passes and ran for another score, while Anio caught two and Derryl Matthews one.
Beckwith showed the Zachary defense what they were in for on the Tigers’ first touchdown drive. He caught his own pass when it was batted in the air and tried to run, but lost 13 yards on the play. On the next play he threw incomplete deep down the right sideline, but came right back with the same play to the left and found Johnson for an 85-yard touchdown.
“East Feliciana was just unbelievable, play after play. I thought we would stop them a few more times than we did, but every time we did something good they did something better. They capitalized on all our mistakes, but I’m so proud of my kids. They never gave up.”
East Feliciana coach Cedric Anderson was equally proud of his team for taking a deeper 5A team down to the wire.
“We had too many penalties and too many mistakes against a good team. My hat’s off to them and to my team, too. We had some kids going two and some even three and four ways. Even with that, they gave us all they had and that’s all we can ask,” he said.
East Feliciana had 11 penalties for 92 yards, some coming at crucial times in the game. The only turnover came when the Tigers lost a fumble at the Zachary 15 on their first drive.
Scott had touchdown runs of one, three and eight yards, and Town ran nine yards for the other Zachary score.