Friday, Aug. 24, 2018 | 11:32 p.m.
In the final minute of the first football game of his life, Silverado kicker Michael Darin was faced with a potential game-winning extra point that was longer than usual because of a penalty at Bonanza Friday night.
Darin nailed the kick. It was an appropriate way for Silverado to clinch a wild 21-20 victory over Bonanza, which scored all of their points in the opening five minutes.
“I’ve had teams that would have quit,” Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said. “But we never did. The kids never lost their composure.”
And the Skyhawks seemingly had every reason to lose their composure after a nightmare start. The Bengals completed a 90-yard touchdown pass on their first offensive play, and then recovered a fumble inside the 5-yard line on the ensuing kickoff.
As if that wasn’t enough, Bonanza then had a long interception return for a touchdown a few minutes later.
“This happens to teams who have guys who have never stepped on a football field before,’” Ostolaza remembered telling his players. “We can battle through it.”
Ostolaza switched the Skyhawks’ game plan at halftime, going with a heavy rushing approach instead of a vertical passing game. Jacob Mendez, Kevon White and Breven Palpallatoc took handoffs on almost every play, and each of them scored a touchdown.
Mendez scored the last one with about a minute remaining on a 4th-and-goal play from the 4-yard line.
“We went ground and pound,” Ostolaza said. “And that’s how we ended up winning.”