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.”
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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.