Photo by Bill Sobalvarro
LANCASTER – How could this happen?
Not like this.
Certainly it was only fitting that the game between the Marauder football team and College of the Desert would be a high scoring affair. It wouldn't be an AVC-COD game any other way.
In the end it was the Marauders that squandered a 22-point third quarter lead. And while the visiting Roadrunners celebrated at the 50-yard line, members of the AVC football team exited to the locker room knowing they had let one slip away.
College of the Desert rallied in the second half to send the game into overtime and left Marauder Stadium with a 56-50 thrilling four overtime victory in the longest game in Marauder history, Saturday night.
"I felt like we were doing everything right out there. The 'w' was there for us, but we didn't take it," AVC wide receiver Jordan Wayne said. "This loss hurts more than the last two. We have to keep our teammates up and keep pushing."
Wayne tied the school record for most touchdown receptions in a game (four), while quarterback Armani Edden tied the single-game record for touchdown passes in a game (five). On the flipside, the Marauders (1-3) were flagged 24 times for 234 yards, both school records for a game.
"I don't even know what to say. I just know we were supposed to come out with a 'w'," said Edden, who finished the game 13-of-34 for 201 yards. "It just goes to show that we have to play all four quarters and we can't take our foot off the gas. We have to come together and get the victory next week."
AVC had its foot on the gas for the majority of the game until the Roadrunners (2-2) kept chipping away at the lead and finally sent the game into overtime.
The Marauders were clinging to a 35-27 lead with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. On fourth down and the ball on the 3-yard line, COD quarterback Noah Shoeman connected with Franklin Miller to pull the Roadrunners to within two, 35-33. Shoeman then connected with Miller again for the two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. COD converted two fourth downs during its final drive of the fourth quarter.
The Roadrunners struck first in overtime, but the Marauders responded when the Edden-Wayne connection struck for the fourth time to tie the score, 42-42.
In the second overtime, AVC failed to score and got new life following a missed 25-yard field goal by COD.
In the third overtime, Miller was the recipient of a 7-yard pass from Shoeman. Miller, once again was on the receiving end of the 2-point conversion giving the Roadrunners a 50-42 lead. Shoeman was 41-of-70 for 507 yards and four touchdowns.
The Marauders when DJ Payne squirted his way into the end zone from 13 yards out trimming the lead to 50-48. Edden connected with Wayne near the corner of the end zone for the 2-point conversion, sending the game into yet another overtime.
AVC got the first possession of fourth overtime and on fourth down, a mix up in the back field allowed the Roadrunners to take over on downs with no points. Two plays later, Kamone Best surged up the middle nearly untouched for the game winner.
"We have to have a short-term memory and we have to act like men and take this loss," said Wayne who finished with eight receptions. "We can't dwell on this loss and learn from our mistakes. This is a tough pill to swallow, but we have to just leave this one in the past."
AVC's 13th ranked defense was exploited as COD racked up 705 yards of total offense. The Marauders' offense had their best output of the season as it gained 484 yards of offense.
Wayne's third touchdown reception of the game with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter gave AVC its largest lead of the game, 35-13. COD scored the final 22 points over a span of 15 ½ minutes which sent the game into overtime.
The loss not only overshadowed the performance of Edden and Wayne but also Payne, who had his breakout game of the season carrying the ball 26 times for 183 yards.
Since 2014 the two teams have split a total of four games and AVC has scored 182 points compared to COD's 172. The Roadrunners have won the last two meetings.