For the second time in three weeks, Frankie Ayon and Kobe Garner rescued the Redwood High School football team in the final two minutes of a game.
Ayon connected with Garner for a 12-yard touchdown with 1:53 remaining as the Rangers extended a perfect season with a 24-21 West Yosemite League victory over previously undefeated Golden West before an estimated crowd of 4,500 at Visalia Community Stadium.
On Sept. 16 at Tulare Western, Ayon hit Garner for a 10-yard touchdown with 24 seconds left as Redwood overcame the Mustangs 27-26.
“Our team was pumped,” said Garner, whose 29-yard catch and run on a pass from Ayon two plays earlier set up the winning score. “You can’t count us out. We’re always fighting.”
You can’t count us out. We’re always fighting.
Redwood’s Kobe Garner, who caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Frankie Ayon with 1:53 left to lift Redwood over Golden West 24-21.
Golden West, off to its best start since 2001, went ahead 21-17 with 6:09 left in the third quarter on a 13-yard touchdown run by Ryan Cook.
The Trailblazers (4-1, 0-1) milked five minutes off the clock with a 10-play drive in the fourth quarter, including a fourth-down conversion from their own 29, before the march stalled.
Redwood (6-0, 2-0) started its winning drive from its 16, and overcame a one-play absence by Ayon because of injury. A fourth-down pass-interference penalty against Golden West kept the drive alive.
“There is just something about this team,” Redwood coach Shaun Ball said. “They get it done. They are a special group.”
Redwood took a 17-14 lead into halftime by cashing in a late Golden West turnover when Warren Davis recovered a fumble at the Trailblazers’ 34 that led to Cooper Allen’s 20-yard field goal.
The Rangers had tied the score 14-14 two minutes earlier when Michael Bean capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive by taking a short pass from Ayon and going 17 yards for a touchdown.
Golden West jumped ahead 14-7 in the second quarter on a 16-yard scoring run by Ian Kelly and a 1-yard touchdown plunge from Gonzalo Rodriguez.
Redwood struck first, when Jayden Sullivan’s blocked punt set up an 11-yard scoring pass from Ayon to Drew Stogsdill in the first quarter.