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October 27, 2013

Beck catch locks up Comet victory

VELMA — Velma-Alma senior Alan Beck had himself a night on Friday.

He got to kiss the queen on homecoming night and save his quarterback Ty Richardson’s skin in the final minutes of a 30-20 victory against Rush Springs.

Leading the whole game, the Comets (6-2, 4-1) faced fourth down and nine from the Redskins’ (2-5, 2-3) 29-yard line with 1:30 left. The momentum had shifted. What was a 12-point halftime lead dwindled to four, and if the Comets were to give the ball up, there was no assurance their defense could hold.

Dropping back to pass, Richardson lofted a jump ball up in the air for Beck, but it was too short. It didn’t matter. The senior receiver plucked the ball out of the hands of a defenseman to secure the victory with his second touchdown of the night.

“He has my back,” Richardson said, still marveling at the catch after the game.

It was the final say in what had been complete control by the Comets all night. From when Rush Springs snapped the ball over the punter’s head on its first series, the home team seemed to be much more at ease. The only hiccup came after it took a 16-point lead in the first quarter.

Rush Springs responded with 12 unanswered points, and it was up to Richardson to lead his team back down the field. He did just that, showing the leadership that Velma-Alma needed from its junior quarterback.

“I thought that was the best game he’s had at quarterback in his career,” coach Greg Gothard said. “I’m very proud of that, and we needed that.”

The mantra all night was “we need this” for Velma-Alma. Eight unanswered Rush Springs points in the four quarter forced that must-win situation to rear its ugly head at 24-20.

“I thought we showed a lot of toughness tonight,” Gothard said. “We showed a lot of character by not giving in, because I never really thought it was that close of a game until it got that close.”

Up next for Velma-Alma is its rivalry game at home against Empire. The Bulldogs (6-2, 4-1) lost 56-7 to Ringling Friday and the winner of next week’s game gets second place in the district. This means a home game to start the state playoffs.

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