Bret Harte 40
Senior Ryan Crawford had never attempted a field goal in his career.
Friday night he made two, including a 33-yarder with 4.9 seconds left in the game.
Bret Harte 40
The Bret Harte Bullfrogs picked up their second win of the season Friday night at Lion Stadium in Linden executing a last gasp field goal to move ahead 40-38.
“It was pretty exciting,” Crawford said. “I knew that my guys would get down there. That’s just kind of how the game was going. I knew I had a job to do.”
The night started strong for the Bullfrogs.
The Lions won the toss and opted to receive to start the game. They scratched their way down the field on a series of third down conversions. But the Bullfrogs’ defense snuffed out the momentum with a sack for loss, forcing Linden to attempt a fourth and 25. The pass was nearly intercepted by the Bret Harte defender and the Frogs took over on downs near the 40 yard line.
Bret Harte’s quarterback Ryan Kraft came out throwing. His first was batted down and on the second he was flushed from the pocket and tackled for a loss. Another batted pass and the Frogs opted to punt with 5:10 left in the first quarter.
The Lions proved too slippery on their next series and found the endzone for the first points of the game.
With 3:03 left in the first the score was 8-0 after a successful two-point conversion.
Bret Harte turned to their run game on their next series, giving Javon Gilbert the call.
Karson Kirk picked up a few yards and Gilbert then moved the sticks on a run up the middle.
Kraft did the rest on his own. He ran left, pump faked and zig-zagged down the sideline to put the Frogs on the board with 25 seconds left in the first. Bret Harte missed the point after making the score 6-8.
Karson Kraft and Michael Hughes made tackles for loss and forced the Lions to punt on their next possession.
Kirk got a hand on the punt and helped set up the Frogs at midfield.
The Frogs’ ran a play fake and Kraft threw a perfect ball to Julian Gonzales who dodged a defender and scored. The point after was good and Bret Harte took a 13-8 lead with 8:31 left in the half.
The Frogs fumbled the ball and the Lions took full advantage.
Although the Frogs’ defense was able to make it a tough slog down the field for the Lions, they scored again with 39 seconds left in the half. They converted a two-point attempt to take a 16-13 lead.
Bret Harte wasn’t done scoring though. They put together a tidy set of gains, setting up a field goal opportunity with two seconds left to play. The Lions gifted them with an extra five yards after a dead ball foul. The kick was good as time expired and the game was tied 16-16 at the half.
As second half play began, a bobble from the Bret Harte receiver kept the Frogs pinned at their 10 yard line.
Two lengthy rushing gains from Kirk and Gilbert moved the Frogs to the 35 with a minute off the third quarter clock.
Kraft threw a stinging ball to Gonzalez to move the Frogs into Lions territory.
Gilbert then bounced his way through defenders on one running play and did it again on the next play before bounding into the endzone for another Bret Harte touchdown.
With 9:18 left in the third the Frogs took a 23-16 lead.
Bret Harte got a defensive win, snuffing out the Lions’ drive with a turnover on downs.
Sophomore Hunter Brewer picked up a pass from Kraft to help erase a Bret Harte penalty.
But the offense couldn’t pick up a fourth and one conversion. The Lions took over at midfield with 2:50 left in the third.
Linden took advantage and scored with 1:55 to play in the third. Another two-point conversion attempt was stopped inches from the goal line, preserving the Bret Harte lead at 23-22.
Jonathan Miramontes had the Bret Harte coaches high fiving as he caught the Lions kickoff and slipped up the middle of the field for excellent field position.
Gilbert took over on the run game for the next set of downs before Kraft threw a sailing pass into the hands of Julian Gonzalez for a touchdown.
Kicker Ryan Crawford booted an extra point to give the Frogs a 30-22.
The Lions picked up a roughing the kicker penalty on the play and would begin their next series on their 40 as the third quarter expired.
Just 10 seconds into the fourth the Lions ball carrier slipped through the Bret Harte defense and scored a 51-yard touchdown. The Lions’ quarterback found the endzone on the two-point conversion attempt, tying the game 30-30 with 11:49 to play in the game.
The Frogs had a swift answer as Joseph Miramontes pounded down the field and into Lions territory on the kick return.
The momentum was short lived as the Frogs fumbled, giving the LIons the ball at their 34 yard line.
That is until the Lions coughed up the ball deep in Frogs territory with 6:34 left in the game.
Kraft attempted a pass before taking a keeper of the right side for a first down. He was hit late out of bounds and the Lions’ penalty moved the Frogs to the 40 yard line.
Another twisting keeper from Kraft was good enough for a first down with 6:08 left in the game.
The next series was all Gilbert as he ran into a pile of Lions, bounced off and picked up five yards on the next play, earned a first down on his next carry then ran for a bruising touchdown with 3:58 to play. The score was 37-30.
The Lions responded with a touchdown to come within one point.
They opted for a two-point conversion with 1:03 left. And they made it, taking the 38-37 lead.
A tackle for a loss left the Frogs with a third and 18 and 35 seconds on the clock.
Bret Harte would not go quietly into the night. A well-executed flea flicker moved them near mid-field with 25 seconds left.
It was fourth and one as Kraft took the ball up the sideline to the 18 yard line. Field goal range.
The Frogs called their final timeout with 17 seconds left to play.
Kraft threw a jump ball into the endzone but Cameron Silva caught the ball out of bounds with 10 seconds to go.
Crawford got the call with 4.9 seconds left in the game.
He lined up on the right hash mark for the attempt.
A celebration penalty was called against an exuberant mass of Frogs on the field.
But on this night, it would be one penalty well worth the yardage.
“It was a hell of a game,” said head coach Casey Kester. “That’s my guy’s first two field goals of his career and he just drilled them.”
Kester said the matchup with LInden was a good one for the Frogs.
“They were very physical, very fast and it was a good game,” Kester said.
The Bullfrogs picked up their second win of the season.
Next week, they play at Sonora High in the final game of the regular season. The game starts at 7 p.m.