The big plays for Ridgeland started in the second half. Darrell Bridges with a halfback pass in the third quarter that went for a 57-yard touchdown to Vonn Bell. Said Bridges,"Before the play was called, I knew I had to just chunk it. A lot of people on the coaching staff made fun of me because I cocked back so far and just threw it man."
Then when Marist scored to go up 27-21 with just over three minutes to play, Sharone Porter blocked the extra point. Said Porter,"And when I actually came in, I didn't know how close I was to the kicker. And then the ball just hit my arm. Then everybody just started going for the ball." Added Mariakis,"That was a huge block. I think it was the first extra point they had blocked in five years."
Ridgeland tied the game on a busted play, as Bridges hit Shaqualm McCoy. The PAT put the Panthers on top 28-27. But Marist had time to answer.
Said quarterback Trevor Long,"I was actually sitting on the bench where we huddle up where the coaches talk to us, and I had a towel over my head."
The War Eagles got in position for a game winning field goal with five seconds left. Said Bridges,"It seemed like it took forever for the ball to get to the goal post." Said Mariakis,"I actually saw it hit the pole. I didn't really know if it crossed over or not." Said lineman Grady Mathews,"I stood up and I said. I looked at it. I said did it fall in. Did it fall in the end zone? So when I saw it fall in the end zone, I just fell down and said oh my gosh. I couldn't breathe or nothing."
Said Mariakis,"Seeing the thousands of people on the field. Standing around for an hour. Hugging each other. Crying. Grown men crying. Just talking about how proud they are of the boys and the program." Added Porter,"I hugged everybody in the community. It was a great feeling."