It all felt like a blur to Jayse Miller.
With only four seconds remaining, Liberty Union had just missed a field goal to take the lead and the Amanda-Clearcreek Aces had the pigskin 80 yards from the end zone.
“We called a post play, but it basically turned into me just running down the middle of the field,” Miller said. “Our offensive line did a great job of giving Peyton Madison time to throw and he hit me with the pass.”
And the rest is history.
A walk-off 80-yard touchdown pass from Madison to Miller as time expired sent the Aces to a wild 27-21 win over visiting Liberty Union on Friday in a non-league game.
“Once I crossed the goal line, everything just felt like a blur,” Miller said. “I remember running towards the middle of the field after I scored and basically being tackled by the whole team. It felt like I had the whole team on top of me. It felt like I couldn’t breathe, but I was so happy.”
While Amanda-Clearcreek coach Steve Daulton wasn’t pleased with a 21-7 fourth quarter lead melting away, he was happy to see his team pull through and remain unbeaten on the season.
“With four seconds left after what we had been through, a lot of people probably expected us to take a knee, regroup and play for overtime,” Daulton said. “That was two seniors — Peyton and Jayse — working together to make something big happen for our team.
“We have a lot of little things that we can and must improve on, but it was nice to see our kids pull out a tight game against a county rival.”
The Aces (3-0) struck in the second quarter for a pair of touchdowns to make it 14-0 on a 17-yard run by Alex Fairchild and a one-yard keeper from Madison.
“I was pleased with our attitude and focus coming into the game and we had a nice strong start to the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead,” Daulton said. “After that, we were our own worst enemy and shot ourselves in the foot with a couple of fumbles and some other things.”
Liberty Union (0-3) made it a 14-7 game at halftime when Jacob Denney caught a nine-yard pop pass from Cayden Carroll.
The Aces answered in the third quarter on a seven-yard run by Madison to make it a two-score game again.
Liberty Union responded in the last half of the fourth quarter, scoring on a one-yard keeper by Carroll and a two-yard run by Casey Fleahman to tie the game.
The Lions actually outgained the Aces 307-293.
Madison rushed for 92 yards on 17 carries and completed 5 of 12 passes for 122 yards. Fairchild added 57 yards rushing on 14 totes.
Carroll was 13 of 28 passing for 154 yards for the Lions. Kobe Barnett had 21 carries for 84 yards.
The Aces open Mid-State League Buckeye Division play next week when they entertain Fairfield Union (0-3).
“It didn’t feel like we should’ve won the way we did, but we did and we get to go back to work,” Miller said. “We’re 3-0, but we could be a lot better than we are right now. I take responsibility, because I had a fumble tonight and I could be better.
“Coach Daulton takes about if we take care of the little things then big things will happen, and that’s what we need to do. If we can clean up our turnovers, I think we can be a dangerous team.”