Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 | 11:40 p.m.
With 58 seconds remaining, it appeared the team would have to settle for going into halftime tied at 14.
But Basic quickly moved the ball down the field with a long catch-and-run by Jake Waldron to get into field-goal range. Montana Gomez drilled a 34-yard attempt for a 3-point halftime lead, and more importantly, momentum for the second half.
Basic used that momentum for a 31-23 victory in its season opener.
“We had the wind at our backs. We decided to go for it,” Basic coach Jeff Cahill said.
Last season, Basic won one game in the Southeast League to inch into the playoffs. But it peaked late and advanced to the Sunrise Regional championship. Tonight was clearly a continuation of the good play, downing a respected Palo Verde program in a contest of top 10 teams.
It didn’t start out too promising for the Wolves, though.
They fumbled on their own 15 on the second play to give Palo Verde good field position. But they held the Panthers out of the end zone, and Waldron raced 80 yards on the ensuing possession to put Basic in scoring position.
Senior running back Sean White scored a few plays later for a 7-0 advantage. Waldron rushed for more than 100 yards and two touchdown.
But the star of the game was junior quarterback Aaron Mcallister.
Mcallister, who was a late-week addition to the lineup to replace his brother, senior Tank Mcallister, had a touchdown to Deondre Ishman. Basic didn’t miss a beat with its backup quarterback calling the shots.
“The team rallied around him. That was meaningful,” Cahill said.