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July 31, 2014

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Late 2-point conversion gives Rams 21-20 win

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Leila Navidi

Chris Tran, left, of Clark High School cheers after their pulled ahead of Rancho High School in the fourth quarter their game at Clark High School in Las Vegas Friday, September 5, 2008. Rancho won the game 21-20 with a two-point conversion in the last 60 seconds.

Rancho at Clark

Angellia Smith, the captain of the Clark High School cheerleading squad, holds a flag before the start of their game against Rancho High School at Clark High School in Las Vegas  Friday, September 5, 2008. Rancho won the game 21-20 with a two-point conversion in the last 60 seconds. Launch slideshow »

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After driving his team the length of the field and throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass with 26 seconds left to trim Clark's lead to 20-19, Rancho High quarterback James Cammack was summoned to the sideline by first-year Rams coach Elvin Dick.

The Rams would go for the win by calling a pass play called "Swirl."

It was Cammack who would provide the cherry on top.

Cammack rolled right, but almost before the Rams' receivers could swirl into position, he cut back left. He ran all the way across the field before scooting inside the end zone pylon as Rancho pulled out a 21-20 victory Friday night in a game it really had no business winning.

"I was thinking if nobody was open, I was going to take it," said the shifty Cammack, who completed 12 of 21 passes for 213 yards to offset a Rancho running game that was virtually non-existent.

Cammack, who said he patterns his game after Michael Vick and wears No. 7, said it was an ugly game that turned pretty in the end, thanks to the improvised two-point conversion.

"It was a planned pass play," he said. "But I was thinking it was time for me to step up, and I stepped up and did my work on the field."

It was Cammack who had run and passed the Rams (1-1) into position to win. First he used his legs to pick up a crucial first down with a 12-yard scramble on 4th and 10. Then he used his legs again, to buy some time, before unfurling a 38-yard pass completion to Zach Foulkrod that carried to the Clark 1-yard line. The two also combined on the scoring flip that preceded the game-winning conversion.

After making headlines last year when its losing streak reached an epic 42 games, Clark (0-2) appeared on its way to gaining some positive publicity after it rallied for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 20-13 lead.

Dan Barr bulled in from the 1-yard line and kicked the extra point that tied the game at 13 with 9:40 to play. Then wingback Aaron Arlt, who rushed for 124 yards on just 11 carries to lead an effective Chargers ground attack that churned for 224 yards, scored on a 12-yard run that, combined with Barr's PAT, made it 20-13.

There was just 1:45 to play when Arlt slashed into the end zone and the Clark sideline began to celebrate. Given the Chargers haven't had a whole lot to celebrate during the past few seasons, you could hardly blame them for that. Considering the self-destructing nature of Rancho's offense, the lead looked pretty safe, especially with so little time remaining.

"Horrible game on our part," Dick said. "At the end, coming back to win it, of course, was awesome. Up to that point, we're dropping balls, penalties, jumping offsides ... if we clean that stuff up, I don't even think the game is close."

Rancho lost two fumbles, was penalized nine times for 70 yards and dropped passes as if they were bad transmissions. But when the game was on the line, Cammack made just enough plays to see the Rams through.

In addition to all those key runs and passes, Cammack also made an important -- if overlooked -- play with his right foot that proved to be crucial in the end. Following the Rams' second touchdown in the first quarter, he banked home an extra point off the upright to make in 13-6.

The Chargers dominated time of possession by managing down and distance and converting on fourth down. Clark went for it seven times on fourth down and converted six, running 63 offensive plays to Rancho's 41.

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