ABILENE — The Aubrey Chaparrals were headed for Heartbreak City in a Class 4A Division II Region I area round game against Midland Greenwood at Abilene Christian University’s Wildcat Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Bryson Bohannon missed a 24-yard field goal wide left with 58 seconds to play when trailing by three points in what seemed to seal a 17-14 Greenwood win.
The Chaps’ defense then forced a fumble with 46 seconds to play as the Rangers were trying to take a knee, and on the next play Jacob Holder’s dive for the pylon resulted in a 12-yard touchdown and 21-17 lead.
Wesley Huber recovered the botched exchange for Aubrey.
Aubrey’s defense then had to come up with a stop on an attempted Hail Mary with two seconds to play to seal the win. The Chaps now advance to face Graham at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at Globe Life Field.
“That was a wild and crazy last minute,” Aubrey coach Keith Ivy said. “We were just hoping and praying that we could get a break like that. We didn’t expect it, but we got it and were able to cash in and take advantage.
Martavious Hill had a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:24 to play to close the Rangers’ lead to 17-14 to set up the final minute drama that started with Bohannon’s miss.
“That was pretty heartbreaking at that time,” Ivy said. “We knew we had some timeouts left and we could hopefully get them to fourth down where they would at least have to punt. That was really the goal as well as trying to get a turnover on the exchange.”
The Chaps were held well below their season average of 46.8 points per game — but in the end it didn’t matter.
After trading punts to open the game, Aubrey struck first for a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter with an 11-play, 71-yard drive that was capped off by Braylon Colgrove’s 8-yard touchdown run in which he had to bounce outside a couple of times.
The Rangers broke through three possessions later when Rance Purser hit a 38-yard field goal before the Chaps gave the ball back on a Colgrove fumble. Greenwood capitalized on the short field with an Izaiah Ramirez 11-yard scoring run for a 10-7 lead.
After trading punts, Aubrey had a chance to take the lead before half, but Jaxon Holder’s pass over the middle was intercepted.
With the Rangers taking the second half kickoff, Trey Cross quickly found open field for the first time all day with a 69-yard touchdown run just over a minute into the third quarter for a 17-7 lead.