Dunham scores late to win 28-27 thriller over Episcopal

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In a dramatic finish between District 8-2A rivals Friday night, Dunham (6-1, 2-0) edged Episcopal, 28-27, on a one-yard direct snap score by Delante Wilson and a game winning extra point from Charlie Hayes with just 19 seconds in regulation.

The game ended after Episcopal attempted to run the ‘Miami Miracle’ play used two years ago to stun the Patriots in the NFL. However, the miracle didn’t happen this time.

Dunham’s Gabe Hiltzman broke an 18-yard run to the Knights’ two-yard line to set up the game winning score.

Episcopal missed a pair of extra point kick attempts while splitting their pair of two-point conversion tries. As a result, Charlies Hayes’ perfect four-for-four night on extra point attempts provided the one-point difference.

“We preach winning all aspects of the game, and we won the turnovers margin 3 to 0,” Episcopal head coach Travis Bourgeois said. “Special teams though, we lost big time today, and two personal fouls on our final drive killed us,we loss our cool late.”

Episcopal (5-2 1-1) led most of the night including 13-7 at the break. In an action-packed third quarter, Episcopal wasted no time adding to their lead. Just over a minute into the third period, Ryan Arnwood raced 37 yards to the Dunham 13; two plays later Arnwood scored from 13 yards out giving the knights a 19-7 advantage.

The Tigers moved down the field quickly in their opening drive of the half, which started with a 49-yard run from Nick Suire to the Knights 25. Two plays later, a 25 yard touchdown pass from Anthony Saffold to Joshua Hardy made it 19-14.

Saffold accounted for 205 total yards with two rushing touchdowns and the one score through the air.

Episcopal answered to lead 27-14 on a 23-yard touchdown toss by Dylan Mehrotra to Peyton Pontif on a fourth down and eight. Ethan Hook’s run for the two-point conversion followed.

Dunham responded to the adversity. Late in the third period, Wilson broke free on a 22-yard scramble to the Knights 40 yard line. the drive was capped by a four-yard touchdown run by Saffold on the final play of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 27-21.

“I’m proud of guys for staying so composed,” Dunham coach Neil Weiner said. “That was tough. Travis (Bourgeois) and his team had an awesome game plan and they really got after us. Defensively, we haven’t given up many yards or points in a regular-season game in a long, long time.”

Dunham’s biggest stop came with 5:40 left when the Tigers stopped an Episcopal drive at the Dunham 40-yard line forcing a punt. Then came the clutch winning drive.

“Games like this are what high school football is about,” Bourgeois said. “They played for four quarters, we play for three quarters and 10 minutes. The last two minutes we made too many mistakes. we gotta learn how to finish.”

Dunham scored first on four-yard Saffold keeper on their opening drive of the night. Episcopal added a 14 yard Arnwood scoring run on their first drive to cut the Tigers’ lead to 7-6. Kolin Bilbrew gave the Knights their first lead 13-7 on a 31-yard score at the 3:29 mark of the first of the half.

Episcopal will look to bounce back against Northeast while Dunham looks to stay unbeaten in district at East Feliciana next Friday.

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