GV’s try at upset falls just short
PARACHUTE — It was all that Bayfield running back and linebacker TJ Pazell could get out — a huge sigh of relief. He and the fourth-ranked Wolverines had just dodged a bullet, and he knew it.
Up 23-18 with only six seconds left, Pazell watched as Grand Valley quarterback Tyler Scott appeared to connect with Trent Reidle for a game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass. Reidle was ruled to be out of bounds, and Pazell, along with everyone else who made the trip up north, was able to let out that sigh of relief.
“They are a tough team,” Pazell said of No. 5 Grand Valley. “We knew coming in we would have to give it our all.”
That the Wolverines did and stayed unbeaten on the year at 5-0 and moved to 3-0 in 2A Western Slope Conference play. The Cardinals dropped to 4-1, 2-1.
“We can’t be disappointed,” Grand Valley senior Tanner Zimmerman said. “We played hard for four quarters. You have to give props to Bayfield. But they did give us some stuff to work on.”
Grand Valley led three different times in the game and appeared to have won it on the game’s final play.
Needing a touchdown to win, the Cardinals got their chance with just over two minutes remaining in the game and needing to cover 75 yards. Scott worked Grand Valley down the field, and with the help of a pair of pass-interference penalties, the Cardinals had their shot at winning.
With just six seconds left, Scott found Reidle down the left side for what looked like a game-winning, 26-yard scoring play. But the call was made that the pass was incomplete at the goal line.
“Grand Valley expects to win every game it plays,” Zimmerman said. “I’m so proud of the way we played. It came down to that last play, and we almost got it done. But we have things to work on and get better at.”
Bayfield, the state runner-up in Class 2A last year, got all it could handle and more in this one.
Grand Valley took the opening kickoff and marched 83 yards on 11 plays, capped by a Scott’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lewis for a 6-0 lead. Bayfield responded with its own 11-play drive, capped by Pazell’s three-yard TD run.
The Cardinals turned a Wolverine fumble into six more points early in the second quarter, and when Scott found Reidle for a 10-yard TD pass just before half, Grand Valley led 18-16.
Scott completed 12 of 22 passes for 142 yards and a score.
Zimmerman rushed for 74 yards on 15 tries.