ALEXANDRIA — Dunham had 50 seconds to go 72 yards.
The Tigers need every one of them.
Senior Jyron Walker connected with sophomore Joshua Matthews on a 46-yard Hail Mary on the game’s final play as the Tigers (7-4) rallied from a 10-point deficit to defeat Menard 27-24 in the first round of the Division III playoffs Friday night.
“I saw the ball go up. They tipped it up in the air, and I took it off one of the defensive player’s hands,” said Matthews, whose game-winning reception was his only one of the game. “I just thank God for it because I worked hard for this moment.”
First-year coach Neil Weiner said he was proud of his team for preserving on the road in the playoffs.
“That’s the second time we’ve completed a Hail Mary this season,” he said. “We practice it every Thursday. Our kids were prepared for it.”
Walker completed 16 of 31 passes in the game for 174 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 56 yards, while senior Chase Day finished with 100 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
Menard (6-5) was led by the 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns from senior Austin Vaughn.