Written by Corbett Smith
Magic under the hat? Randy Allen opts for last-minute 2-point conversion; Highland Park rallies past Mesquite Poteet
MESQUITE – The man in the Tom Landry fedora, Highland Park coach Randy Allen, has some magic under there.
Instead of opting for a game-tying extra point with less than a minute remaining against Mesquite Poteet, Allen went for the win.
Jet Tuma converted on a quarterback keeper to give Highland Park the lead with 57 seconds remaining, and linebacker Chris Mitchell ended the game with an interception, as Highland Park held on for a 20-19 win at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
“Our guys just have a strong will to win, and don’t give up,” Allen said.
Until the final drive, No. 4 Highland Park (5-1, 3-0 in District 10-4A) had minus-two yards total offense in the second half. Its once-vaunted passing attack had only 21 total yards until the final two minutes.
But somehow, Allen’s team found a way.
With less than two minutes remaining, Anthony Vallera broke free down the middle of the field on a 60-yard catch that took the ball to the Poteet 12-yard line.
After a 10-yard Tuma run put the ball at the two, Hank Howard scored his third touchdown of the game, setting up the game-winning two-point conversion.
No. 5 Poteet (5-1, 2-1) had multiple opportunities in the final minutes to clinch the win, but failed to deliver.
Quarterback Tanner Ramsey, who rushed for 95 yards and passed for 178 yards in the loss, scored on powerful 33-yard touchdown with five minutes remaining that would have put Poteet up by two scores.
But the play was called back for holding, and the drive ended in a 34-yard field goal by Brett Rattan.
Poteet coach Randy Jackson trusted on Ramsey to convert a 4th and 3 on the ensuing drive, which would have ended Highland Park’s hopes, instead of attempting a 39-yard field goal. Highland Park stuffed Ramsey for a 1-yard gain, setting up its final drive.
“If the score would have been 42-41 or something like that, I would have kicked it,” Jackson said. “But our defense had played great all night.”
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN