Enochs High looked down and out with Central Valley leading the Eagles 22-8 in the fourth quarter and driving for another score with eight minutes left on Friday night.
However, the Hawks fumbled the ball, paving the way for what might be one of the greatest finishes in Enochs football history.
Quarterback Ben Harless hit Gabe Castellanos on a 20-yard touchdown pass as time expired — coming two plays after recovering a pooch kick — as the Eagles scored twice in the final 19 seconds for improbable 28-22 victory.
“All I was thinking about in those last 5 seconds was keeping my composure,” Harless told FrontRowPreps.com reporter Conor McGill. “We got some things to work on heading into our bye.”
“As far as comebacks, it’s No. 1,” Enochs coach James Stacy told The Bee.
After Harless capped a crucial 75-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run following the Central Valley fumble, the Enochs defense went to work.
“That was really huge to drive,” Stacy said. “To have the boys pull that together ...”
He said from there, the support of the sidelines played a huge impact.
The Eagles held Central Valley on downs and went to work from their own 40, down 22-14, with about a minute left.
Harless eventually hit Kameron Myers on a 5-yard TD pass with 19 seconds left, and the Eagles converted the two-point play to tie it.
Enochs then pooched the kickoff, and recovered the loose ball on the Central Valley 47.
Harless connected on a 27-yard pass to give the Eagles one last crack with four seconds on the clock. He hit Castellanos at the goal-line, and Castellanos was able to lunge in for the victory as time expired.
“Everything went crazy,” Stacy said. “The guys were super excited after that one. It got really wild.”
Enochs will have a lot of time to enjoy the big win. The Eagles have a bye next week before playing at Edison on Sept. 21.
Central Valley’s Isaiah Hidalgo had 9 carries for 96 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown, and five catches for 88 yards, including a 43-yard TD reception in the first quarter from Andrew Hernandez.
“Sad to see the game end this way for our players,” Central Valley coach Scott Edwards told frontrowpreps. “We got Merced next week and we’re going to look to clean up our mistakes we made in practice.”
Harless had three TD passes, his first a 10-yarder to Castellanos.