“Austin threw the perfect ball. I jumped up, grabbed it and, luckily, I held on to it as I went down,” Friend said.
After forcing LCC to punt on a quick three-and-out, Tipton put together the game-winning drive, going 59 yards in five plays. Facing a fourth-and-four at the LCC 18, Hooker found Friend on a nearly identical touchdown toss as the Devils went up 28-24.
“The second one, oh my goodness, another perfect ball by Austin,” Friend said. “I just kept telling myself, ‘Catch this ball, Nate, catch this ball.’ We run the play all the time in practice. Wow, just a great all-around effort from the team. I want to thank the entire team.”
The two quick touchdown strikes were highlight-reel worthy moments.
“Probably the best two plays I’ve ever seen on this field,” said senior Nate Hein, who finished with 120 yards rushing in the game and pushed past 1,000 yards on the season. “This is my favorite win ever. Winning the Super Bowl couldn’t match how happy I am right now.”
The two quick strikes also more than made up for Hooker’s pick-six earlier in the quarter on an errant toss that Adam Lovell snatched up and ran 76 yards to paydirt, quieting the Devils’ crowd.
“I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t that confident after that pick-six,” Hooker said. “But I had five, six guys picking me up right then, saying, ‘We can do this. If it wasn’t for those guys I don’t think I’d be standing here celebrating right now.”
Tipton was looking at a 10-6 deficit heading out of the locker room to open the second half, but the Devils quickly gained momentum, forcing LCC into a quick three-and-out on its first possession of the half. It then took the home team just two plays to make some serious noise.