By Mark Jurgena
It’s easy to look at the game-winning, eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive engineered by Collinsville backup QB Kolby Anderson late in the 4th quarter and proclaim that to be the ultimate part of the game.
That drive took 1:18 off the clock and was capped with a five-yard sweep by the Kahok signal caller himself.
The Andrew Chi extra point made it 35-31 Collinsville with 1:19 to play in the game.
But, in order for CHS to finish with back-to-back 8-1 seasons, the purple and white defense had to get the job done and when they needed to, that’s exactly what they did.
On 4th and 5 from the Collinsville 25-yard line, Centralia QB Carson Green rolled left however he was contained by outside linebacker Eric Stuber. As Green continued to roll to the left, Stuber closed in and went for the sack.
Green was hit and while falling backward flung the ball into the air and it fell incomplete to give the Kahoks the ball.
After taking a knee three times, Collinsville had their 8-1 season.
“We started off a little slow with two turnovers in the first two possessions and they went ahead and scored to go up 14-0,” said CHS coach Colton Rhodes. “I was happy the kids never put their heads down and we scored to go down 14-7. They brought the kickoff right back for another touchdown, but our kids just kept chugging along. We didn’t have the lead until there was 1:19 on the clock. It was good preparation for our week ten matchup.”
Those last three minutes were a great opportunity for all three phases to make an impact on the game.
After Collinsville took the four-point lead, the Kahok kickoff team brought the return man down at the Orphan 32 thanks to the gang tackle by Stuber, Michael Tongay, and Cole McClusky.
From there, Green scrambled several times including a big 33-yard run in which he sliced and diced the CHS defense until Chase Reynolds brought him down in the open field to prevent a possible game-winning TD. The ball rested on the Collinsville 29-yard line with 48.2 seconds left.
The Orphans elected to spike the ball on 1st down despite their two time-outs.
On 2nd down, Darren Pennell had great coverage on top of the Centralia receiver who was running a go route into the end zone. The Orphan wideout had no chance to catch the ball.
On 3rd down, Centralia completed a quick out route to Darryl Jones who was brought down by Pennell to set up the 4th down play by Stuber.
That defensive stand would not have been possible without the game-winning drive by the offense and a special teams play to get Collinsville out of the shadow of their own end zone.
With just under 3:00 to play in the 4th quarter, the CHS defense forced the Orphans to punt from the Collinsville 45-yard line.
Pennell drifted back on the punt and fielded it at the six-yard line. He immediately made one defender miss and then two others as Centralia had the punt covered well.
He eventually got out to the 20-yard line to set up the last-minu