One more yard would have kept the Bayfield High School football team undefeated.
The Wolverines couldn’t connect on a hail mary as the clock expired trailing 24-21 with seven seconds left, handing BHS its first loss of the season to New Mexico Class 5A Miyamura by that same score.
There was some confusion at the end of the game as to whether BHS (2-1) would be able to run one more play, but the referees declared the game over.
“The ball was caught right at the end zone, and the referee ruled that he was short,” BHS head coach Gary Heide said. “It was a close call.”
The Wolverines stopped Miyamura (2-0) with 1 minute, 3 seconds left to get the ball back with 65 yards to go.
Miyamura quarterback Josiah Shank ran the ball in from seven yards out in the third quarter to give the Patriots their margin of victory.
BHS junior running back Zane Phelps had a huge game for the Wolverines with three total touchdowns, two on the ground.
“He was our horse. He’s an amazing athlete,” Heide said. “He just carried our load. We just kept giving him the ball.”
The Wolverines had a shot to take the lead with under five minutes remaining but couldn’t convert a fourth down
They also had four touchdowns called back because of holding penalties in the game.
“Major, major,” Heide said of the penalties’ impact. “We have to learn how to regroup after penalties and get it back.”
Phelps gave BHS a 21-17 lead with a 12-yard catch from quarterback Kelton McCoy with 9:43 remaining in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough.
“I think that game was a great testament to our team,” Heide said. “I think if we play with that kind of heart the rest of the way, we’re going to have a great season.”
The Wolverines will play their fourth consecutive road game at 7 p.m. Friday at Class 1A No. 1 and defending state champion Paonia.