Imbler 30, Grant Union 27
JOHN DAY - A pair of costly fourth-quarter fumbles and a 4-yard touchdown pass with seven seconds remaining in the game allowed Imbler to rally from an 11-point deficit and stun Grant Union with a come-from-behind 30-27 victory in Wapiti League football action on Friday, Sept. 27.
The loss was the fourth-ranked Prospectors first of the season and dropped Grant Union to 1-1 in league games and 3-1 overall.
"We just got out-played; they were ready and we weren't," Grant Union coach Monty Nash said.
Imbler took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 3-yard run by Steven Skillings. Then, Imbler stretched the margin to 12-0 with 9:44 remaining in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Justin Volle before the Prospectors finally managed to get things rolling.
Taylor Schmadeka hauled in a 39-yard scoring pass from Trevor Simmons at the 7:54 mark and Toby Thomas followed with the point-after to make the score 12-7.
On Imbler's next series of downs, Grant Union linebacker Travis Harper picked off an errant pass from Panthers' quarterback Trevor Crow returning the ball to the 4-yard line to put the Pros back in business.
On the second play from scrimmage Brandon Hueckman gave Grant Union a 13-12 lead on a 4-yard run, for the Prospectors' second touchdown in just 52 seconds.
Thomas added the extra point and the Prospectors were up 14-12.
Billy Colson continued the second quarter uprising scoring the Pros third touchdown of the quarter with 54 seconds showing on the clock to give Grant Union a 20-12 halftime advantage.
Skillings brought the Panthers back scoring his second touchdown of the game at the 5:55 mark of the third period to trim the lead to 20-18, but Simmons answered for the Prospectors on a 27-yard scramble to pay dirt at the 53 seconds left in the quarter, and Grant Union appeared to be in good shape holding a 27-18 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of action.
Then the roof fell in on the Prospectors in the fourth quarter.
A fumble resulted in an Imbler touchdown on a 35-yard Skillings run to make the score 27-24 with 4:43 left in the game, and yet another fumble gave the Panthers the ball on the Pros 30-yard line in the waning moments of the contest.
With seven seconds left, Crow hit split end Tanner McIntosh with a 4-yard slant pass on the right side for the game-winning score to give the Panthers the victory.
"We got out-played right from the start of the game," Nash said. "I have to give all the credit in the world to Imbler, they were up for this game and took it to us."
Hueckman led the Grant Union rushing attack with 86 yards on 10 carries. Cody Frazier carried the ball 14 times for 71 yards.
Simmons was 8-for-17 in passing for 141 yards.
Skillings led Imbler with 104 yards on 19 attempts and Volle had 77 yards on 20 carries.
Grant Union will try to get back on the winning track on Friday at Enterprise. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.