Fourth-and-1 from your 10 gets stopped, opponent scores on the next play.
A head-shaking situation. For everyone but Andy Means, who made the call.
“Because I believe in our kids, and I believe we could have gotten it,” the longtime Millard South coach said. “We’ve done it all season, going for it on fourth down.
“It’s my statement to the kids I believe in you.”
The Patriots are another game closer to the school’s first Memorial Stadium appearance since 2010, just three years removed from a 1-8 season, with Friday’s 34-24 win over Grand Island at Buell Stadium.
They’ll have another home game next Friday as they host their semifinal against Omaha Westside, which had its own payback win in the quarterfinals, in what will be another busy day at Buell Stadium.
Both Class A semifinals will be at Buell, with No. 2 Millard West hosting No. 1 Bellevue West at 8 p.m. after the 4 p.m. Millard South-Westside game. No. 3 Millard South beat No. 7 Westside 41-26 to end the regular season.
I cannot wait. Semifinal nirvana in one stadium.
Friday’s game was eerily at the same juncture as last year’s, when Millard South had a 24-14 lead at home on Grand Island with 10½ minutes left and lost 27-24.
The No. 6 Islanders this time made it 24-21 on the short field it received from Millard South. Broc Douglass, who became Grand Island’s first 1,000-yard receiver in a season, caught his third touchdown pass of the game on the first play after his defense stopped junior quarterback TJ Urban inches short of the first down.
When the Patriots got the ball back, they kept it for more than five minutes until regaining a 10-point lead on Urban’s fourth touchdown run of the game. On a second-and-4, he popped for a 29-yarder on a keeper with 3:15 left.
“Last year we didn’t do that. We had the ball, four minutes to go. We didn’t do it,” Means said. “They got the ball back, they went down and scored.
“We challenged them. ‘Hey, if your goal is to get to Lincoln, then you got to take care of this.’”
Urban, who said he thought he had gotten the first down, said the 64-yard drive that included Isaiah Harris converting a fourth-and-2 from the GI 38 “really was nerve-wracking.”
“I had faith in the linemen. They were just doing a heck of a job at the end.”
Urban went for 174 yards on 26 carries and running back Isaiah Harris added 142 on 28 carries as the only ball-toters for the Patriots.
Grand Island went deep into its playbook right off the bat. On a play that Means said the Patriots had worked against in practice, backup quarterback Jaden Jurgenmier took a double handoff and threw to Douglass for a 77-yard touchdown. Douglass also had a 40-yard run on a double reserve and ended with eight catches for 165 yards.
Grand Island had leads of 10-0 and 17-14, the latter when Douglass caught the first of his two scoring passes from Carson Cahoy with 7 seconds left in the first half.
Millard South took the lead for good on a short-field drive on its first possession of the second half. Grand Island had a broken play in punt formation, with coach Jeff Tomlin said the Patriots were simulating his team’s cadence and the snap hit the man in motion.
“We knew the explosiveness of Harris and Urban, it just was going to be tough to contain them all night,” Tomlin said. “And obviously their offensive line is very good.
“We knew there were going to have to be a couple things go our way and we were going to have to make our own breaks a little bit. Coach (Russ) Harvey’s really creative and our kids seem to execute those specials plays really well when we need them. I was proud of the way we pulled those off.”
Grand Island (9-1)..... 10 7 0 7—24
At Millard South (9-1).. 0 14 13 7—34
GI: Broc Douglass 77 pass from Jaden Jurgensmier (Braxton Mendez kick)
MS: TJ Urban 15 run (Cole Lammel kick)
MS: Isaiah Harris 38 run (Lammel kick)
GI: Douglass 1 pass from Carson Cahoy (Mendez kick)
MS: Urban 1 run (kick blocked)
MS: Urban 39 run (Lammel kick)
GI: Douglass 10 pass from Cahoy (Mendez kick)
MS: Urban 29 run (Lammel kick)
Rushing: GI, Douglass 1-40, Cahoy 11-19, Caleb Francl 7-11, team 1-0. MS, Harris 28-142, Urban 26-174.
Passing: GI, Jurgensmier 1-1-0 77, Cahoy 18-27-0 134. MS, Urban 4-6-0 33.
Receiving: GI, Douglass 8-165, Francl 3-11, Daylon Keolavone 3-26, Ace McKinnis 1-5, Matt Jurgensmier 2-6, Blake Leiting 1-7. MS, Tyson Gerdes 3-21, Chase Perchal 1-12.
1 of 15
Omaha Burke defeated Grand Island 24-20 to cap an undefeated season and win the Bulldogs' first Class A state football championship.
Class B: Omaha Skutt, 48, Scottsbluff 27
Class C-1: Aurora 49, Ord 7
Class C-2: Centennial 29, Norfolk Catholic 28 (OT)
Class D-1: Creighton 32, Burwell 30
Class D-2: Johnson-Brock 56, Mullen 26
Omaha North defeated Kearney 27-20 in 2017 to cap a 12-1 season and win the Vikings' third Class A title in the past five seasons.
Class B: York 31, Omaha Skutt 0
Class C-1: Norfolk Catholic 35, Boone Central/Newman Grove 0
Class C-2: Yutan 27, Centennial 6
Class D-1: East Butler 36, South Loup 14
Class D-2: Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 58, Blue Hill 23
Led by future Husker Jaylin Bradley's five touchdowns, Bellevue West defeated Omaha North 43-6 to win the 2016 Class A title.
Class B: Elkhorn South 34, Omaha Skutt 32
Class C-1: O'Neill 39, Wahoo Neumann 22
Class C-2: Wilber-Clatonia 20, Crofton 0
Class D-1: Burwell 47, West Point GACC 18
Class D-2: Falls City Sacred Heart 44, Twin Loup 28
Millard North defeated Millard West 21-14 to win the 2015 Class A title and earn the Mustangs their fifth championship since 2003.
Class B: Elkhorn South 32, Aurora 21
Class C-1: Columbus Scotus 32, Norfolk Catholic 27
Class C-2: David City Aquinas 36, Oakland-Craig 7
Class D-1: Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 44, Burwell 30
Class D-2: Humphrey St. Francis 22, Chambers/Wheeler Central 20
Omaha North won back-to-back titles by defeating Omaha Creighton Prep 41-0 in the 2014 Class A championship.
Class B: Omaha Skutt 40, Elkhorn 10
Class C-1: Boone Central/Newman Grove 54, Ashland-Greenwood 14
Class C-2: David City Aquinas 40, Hartington Cedar Catholic 6
Class D-1: Hemingford 52, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 8
Class D-2: Exeter-Milligan 40, Anselmo-Merna 26
Omaha North defeated Omaha Westside 23-21 to win the 2013 Class A title.
Class B: Omaha Skutt 30, York 0
Class C-1: Cozad 47, Ashland-Greenwood 21
Class C-2: Doniphan-Trumbull 32, David City Aquinas (10-3) 13
Class D-1: Exeter-Milligan 20, Hemingford 18
Class D-2: Falls City Sacred Heart 63, Stuart 14
Millard North defeated Omaha North 17-14 to win the 2012 Class A championship and cap an undefeated season.
Class B: Omaha Gross 14, Norris 7
Class C-1: Norfolk Catholic 24, Boone Central/Newman Grove 13
Class C-2: David City Aquinas 35, Sutton 20
Class D-1: Elgin Public/Pope John 40, Exeter-Milligan 14
Class D-2: Giltner 42, Humphrey St. Francis 26
In 2011, Lincoln Southeast defeated Omaha Burke 21-9 to win the Class A championship. The Knights claimed their first title since 2002.
Class B: Elkhorn 26, Crete 17
Class C-1: Norfolk Catholic 20, Platteview 6
Class C-2: David City Aquinas 27, Kearney Catholic 13
Class D-1: Elgin Public/Pope John 44, West Point GACC 14
Class D-2: Sargent 21, Howells 18
Millard North defeated Millard South 28-20 to win the 2010 Class A title.
Class B: Crete 34, Elkhorn 0
Class C-1: Norfolk Catholic 28, Pierce 13
Class C-2: Hastings St. Cecilia 17, Fremont Bergan 14
Class D-1: West Point GACC 45, Creighton 30
Class D-2: Howells 46, Sargent 7
Millard South's Tyler Harris his onside kickoff return for a touchdown in the Patriots' 45-17 win over Millard West in the 2009 Class A championship.
Class B: Aurora 34, Omaha Skutt 21
Class C-1: Hastings St. Cecilia 26, Norfolk Catholic 18
Class C-2: Ponca 14, Hartington Cedar Catholic 13, OT
Class D-1: Howells 68, Giltner 28
Class D-2: Humphrey St. Francis 34, Hayes Center 0
Millard West celebrates defeating Millard South 21-8 to win the 2008 Class A title.
Class B: Aurora 20, Beatrice 14
Class C-1: Pierce 20, Boys Town 10
Class C-2: Blue Hill 14, Fremont Bergan 0
Class D-1: Howells 46, Axtell 21
Class D-2: Ewing 49, Humphrey St. Francis 24
Omaha Central coach Jay Ball celebrates the Eagles' 26-21 win over Millard North in the 2007 Class A championship.
Class B: Crete 14, McCook 7, OT
Class C-1: Pierce 34, Wahoo Neumann 28, OT
Class C-2: Wakefield 19, Blue Hill 0
Class D-1: Pope John 39, Clarkson 30
Class D-2: Chambers 28, Elgin 24
Kearney's EJ Gannon celebrates with fans after winning the 2006 state title against Omaha Westside, 41-21.
Class B: Crete 28, Elkhorn 14
Class C-1: Auburn 28, Valentine 27, 2OT
Class C-2: Wakefield 34, Blue Hill 7
Class D-1: Overton 32, Bancroft-Rosalie 8
Class D-2: Dodge 28, Stapleton 20
Millard North huddles around the trophy after defeating Lincoln Southwest 35-14 to win the 2005 Class A championship.
Class B: Omaha Skutt 6, McCook 0
Class C-1: Norfolk Catholic 20, Chase County 13
Class C-2: Plainview 21, Cambridge 6
Class D-1: Howells 46, Axtell 6
Class D-2: Bruning-Davenport 34, Sargent 12
Omaha Creighton Prep coach Tom Jaworski cheers after defeating Millard North 21-7 to win the 2004 Class A title.
Class B: Lincoln Pius X 14, McCook 9
Class C-1: Norfolk Catholic 26, Boone Central 13
Class C-2: North Platte St. Patrick’s 21, Stanton 6
Class D-1: Howells 43, Overton 6
Class D-2: Lindsay Holy Family 36, Mullen 18