LA JARA — Carson Spence’s first and only field goal of the season came with a heap of pressure and a shot to give Strasburg a repeat in Class 1A football.
Saturday with the state championship on the line at Centauri, coach Jeff Giger called on him to make a 20-yard field goal in double overtime.
Spence stepped up, nailed it and gave the Indians back-to-back titles as his kick iced the game for Strasburg and they defeated the Falcons 10-7.
Both squads fought hard for their points as the Indians scored in the final minutes of the first quarter and the Falcons tied it in the waning minutes of the fourth.
Indians quarterback Jacob Miller got his team on the board with 2:06 left in the first quarter.
On fourth-and-16 from the Falcons 16, Miller scrambled from the defense to find Michael Spence who took it to pay dirt to make the score 6-0 in the first quarter.
“I just stepped up because I know their (defensive ends) come off hard,” Miller said. “I saw (Michael Spence) and he catches everything I throw at him. He caught it and went into the end zone.”
Spence connected on the kick to make it 7-0.
Of the 17 drives in regulation, 13 ended with a turnover on downs or a punt. The final drive of the first and second half ended after time expired.
The opening drive of the fourth quarter resulted in the Falcons only score of the game. Nate Anderson scored on a 2-yard keeper up the gut to make it 7-6 with 11 minutes left in regulation.
Sam Anderson’s kick made it through the uprights and tied it at 7-7.
The Indians sideline remained calm even after the touchdown.
“Our defense has some of the toughest dudes I’ve seen,” Miller said. “They kept battling and didn’t give up.”
The Indians showed that late in the game as they stuffed Nate Anderson on fourth and goal at the one-inch line and kept it tied at 7-7 with 1:54 left in the fourth.
In overtime, each team had four chances to get into the end zone from the 10.
Neither managed it in the first OT and the Falcons couldn’t do so to start the second overtime.
The Indians failed to convert their first three tries and decided to go with the kick - their first of the season.
Spence said he was nervous, but it’s not a new situation.
“We practice pressure kicks every Friday and it paid off,” Spence said.
Spence’s 20-yard field goal went through the uprights and he and the Indians jumped for joy as they sealed the win.
Giger said he wasn’t nervous even though he knew it was the first field goal try of the year.
“I have a lot of confidence in Carson,” Giger said. “Every week we line him up at the 20 and he puts it in every time.”
Giger added the championship summed up the battle they fought through this season.
“This game was pretty much a microcosm of the year,” Giger said. “We’ve had kids sick, injured, moved kids around and they just kept fighting. They compete for each other and don’t get caught up in the individual stuff and I love that about them.”