Palisade loses in first round as late FG bounces in for D’Evelyn
Kyle Petry’s 45-yard field-goal attempt hit the crossbar and bounced straight up. A large “whoa” erupted from both the east and west stands.
Time seemed to stand still Saturday afternoon at Stocker Stadium before Petry’s game-winning try bounced over and through.
“I just figured, focus on technique (and) it would all work out in the end,” Petry said.
It did, albeit with that little help from a generous bounce off the crossbar.
With that kick, the D’Evelyn High School football team knocked off Palisade 30-28, bringing the Bulldogs’ season to an abrupt halt in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
Palisade was ranked third in the final RockyPreps Class 3A regular-season rankings, but because of bracket adjustment got the sixth seed. D’Evelyn, which finished in a three-way tie for the Metro Conference title, was No. 11.
“Obviously we think we’re better than an 11 seed,” D’Evelyn head coach Jeremy Bennett said.
The Jaguars showed it on the first play from scrimmage, forcing a fumble five yards behind the line and recovering at the Palisade 15. Then Jaguars quarterback Garrett Griffeth went to work.
Griffeth, who was the starting quarterback in the Jaguars’ 42-31 loss to Palisade in the first round of last year’s state playoffs at Stocker Stadium, scrambled up the middle seven yards to put D’Evelyn ahead 6-0 only 1:26 into the game.
Palisade was on its heels the rest of the day.
“That was a big hole to climb out of,” Bulldogs coach John Arledge said.
D’Evelyn, which passed 80 percent of the time last year, Griffeth said, balanced that out a little more this season by going to the run 40 percent of the time.
The Jaguars had been successful passing to the sidelines this fall but found success against the Bulldogs in the middle of the field.
“We threw new plays in (this week), but mainly we just ran curls. We like to keep them guessing,” Griffeth said.
Trailing 27-21 at halftime, Palisade’s defense made some halftime adjustments, holding Griffeth and the D’Evelyn offense in check in the third quarter.
Matt Young, who had two touchdown receptions, came up with another big play 39 seconds into the fourth quarter, intercepting a pass at the D’Evelyn 12 and running it in for the score to put the Bulldogs ahead 28-27.
Palisade took a chance with three minutes remaining in the game, going for it on fourth and 4 from the D’Evelyn 24, but Jake Appling’s pass was tipped at the line.
D’Evelyn drove 48 yards in less than two minutes to the Palisade 28. From there, Petry lined up at the 35.
“You’ve got to take what you do wrong and learn from it,” Petry said of his previous misses.
D’Evelyn did as effective a job as any team all season in holding Palisade’s potent power ground game in check, allowing 169 yards.
“We didn’t do a whole lot different than we did all year,” Bennett said, except for the four or five plays when they took out a defensive back and substituted a fifth down lineman.
The Jaguars have not given up 100 yards to any single rusher all season.
Bennett lamented that two good teams would meet so early in the playoffs.
“I think what you saw today very well could’ve been the state championship (game),” he said.
“Both teams made plays,” Arledge said. “It was a great game.”
BY THE NUMBERS
3: Field goals missed by D’Evelyn kicker Kyle Petry before his game-winning 45-yarder.
4: Turnovers by Palisade (two fumbles, two interceptions).
59: Yards by which Palisade’s passing yardage outgained its rushing yardage.
156: Total yardage for the three touchdowns scored by the two teams in a span of 1:15 last in the first quarter.