West Jefferson was trailing Higgins with eight seconds left in Friday’s District 8-5A game at Hoss Memtsas Stadium when the Buccaneers scored a touchdown to win 16-13.
The Buccaneers (3-4, 2-0) got the final points when quarterback Ivory Jenkins completed a 14-yard pass to Donovan Conner. Jenkins played in place of quarterback Coley Ransaw, who suffered a head injury during the week, West Jefferson head coach Kevin Fox said.
Jenkins, who is listed as a wide receiver on the West Jefferson roster, completed 8 of 17 passes for 197 yards and had 17 rushes for 104 yards. Friday was the first time Jenkins played quarterback.
“He came through with the big throw at the end,” Fox said. “You’ve got to prepare another kid at the last minute. He’s a lot shorter, a lot of different things had to happen for him to be successful. We were able to get out there and just get just enough offense.
“We lost (David) Carter, who was a big weapon for us in the game, and that turned into finding other guys to be successful with. That’s what we did.”
The late comeback was an example of West Jefferson’s perseverance.
“We’ve been tough all year and resilient,” Fox said. “I love my kids. They bond together throughout the course of games. This is a tough unit at West Jeff right now. Despite the adversity, we had a lot of guys out, so did Higgins. It turned into a game you don’t expect.”
Higgins (2-5, 1-1) took the lead with 7:23 left in the game when White completed a 43-yard TD pass to Ray’Delle Jones to give his squad a 13-9 lead.
White completed 16 of 22 passes for 193 yards and had a part in both of his teams’ touchdowns. White threw mostly to Melvin Frazier, who had six catches for 78 yards.
The Buccaneers did not score one touchdown in the first half, however, Raul Aranda made three field goals.
With 5:05 left in the opening period, Aranda kicked a 47-yard field goal to give his team a 3-0 lead.
Higgins then answered when White threw a pass Melvin Frazier, who took several West Jefferson defenders with him for the last several yards with 1:21 left in the first quarter.
Jenkins rushed nine times for 63 yards in the first half while White had 72 passing yards, including the Hurricanes lone touchdown.
West Jefferson’s defense showed life during Higgins’s first series when quarterback Daniel White was sacked for a loss of 8 yards.