Gonzaga rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half to force overtime and junior quarterback Chris Schultz passed to classmate Brady Malone for a dramatic two-point conversion to beat visiting DeMatha, 28-27, in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinal on Saturday afternoon in Northwest Washington.
Schultz finished with four touchdown passes and a pair of two-point conversion passes as the Eagles (8-3) earned their sixth consecutive victory and a date with top-ranked Good Counsel (11-0) in next week’s league championship game. It will be Gonzaga’s first WCAC final since 2003.
DeMatha (6-4), meantime, failed to advance to the league final for the first time since 1996 and just the second time since the league went to its current postseason format in 1991.
“We’ve been a comeback team pretty much all year,” said Schultz, who completed 15 of 19 passes for 181 yards with two interceptions.
The Eagles trailed 17-6 at halftime and 20-12 entering the fourth quarter. Schultz’s 32-yard touchdown pass to junior Devin Butler and subsequent two-point conversion pass to senior Davon Graves tied it at 20 with 2 minutes left.
In overtime, both teams got possession from the 25-yard line. DeMatha went on offense first and took a 27-20 lead on Taiwan Deal’s one-yard touchdown run. Gonzaga scored on Schultz’s 14-yard pass to Malone. Having had two point-after kicks blocked in regulation and with his defense tiring, Eagles Coach Aaron Brady opted for a two-point conversion try for the victory.
●GAR-FIELD 42, OSBOURN 37: In a Virginia AAA Northwest Region Div. 6 playoff, Gar-Field’s Laron Hinton scored on touchdown passes of 56, 46, and 80 yards — his only three catches — and the Indians advanced to a semifinal game against Hylton.
Gar-Field quarterback Ryan Mason was 9 of 14 for 300 yards and four touchdowns.
●C.H. FLOWERS 13, No. 7 ELEANOR ROOSEVELT 8: Wide receiver Keith Payne wrestled the ball away from a defender for a 10-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter to lift the visiting Jaguars in a Maryland 4A South region semifinal in Greenbelt.
C.H. Flowers (8-3) had three losses by a combined 10 points this season, but broke through to advance to next week’s region final at No.12 Suitland (10-1).
Trailing 8-7 late in the third quarter, Shawn Elliot’s interception gave Flowers the ball at the Roosevelt 30. Later, on third-and-goal, quarterback Jonathan Holland lofted a fade pass toward the left side of the end zone, where Payne was covered by one defender. The ball was underthrown and looked like it would be intercepted.
●No. 14 SUITLAND 21, No. 9 WISE 20: Wide receiver Taivon Jacobs turned a screen pass into a winning 80-yard touchdown with four minutes remaining in a 4A South semifinal in Upper Marlboro. Of Jacobs’ 13 touchdowns this season, only one has been on a play of fewer than 39 yards.
“We faked the run one way and came back and screened to him the other way,” Suitland Coach Ed Shields said. “They were very aggressive. We were hoping we could get something and Tay, anytime he touches the ball, he can go.”
The touchdown capped a wild fourth quarter that saw four lead changes.