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December 20, 2014

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high school football:

Late-game heroics land Basic a second-place finish in the Southeast

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Martin S. Fuentes

Basic High School quarterback Antraye Johnson (5) throws a pass to a teammate during their game against Green Valley High School on Saturday, September 7, 2013. Green Valley beat Basic with a score of 58-36. (Martin S. Fuentes/Las Vegas Sun)

Up one point with three minutes to go against a dangerous opponent, Basic would typically look to make use of its lethal running game to milk the clock.

Not this time. Knowing his team had to beat Coronado by eight points to win the tiebreaker for the Southeast division’s No. 2 seed, Basic coach Jeff Cahill kept the attack on full throttle Friday night.

Sure enough, it worked out as Antraye Johnson tossed an 84-yard touchdown pass to Jon Scoffield to give Basic a 35-27 win over Coronado and a home playoff game next week against Las Vegas.

“We were pressing to score because we knew we had to,” Cahill said.

Suspense remained, though. Basic got the ball back with less than a minute to go and Coronado forced a three-and-out.

The Cougars blocked the punt and recovered the ball at the Wolves’ 16-yard line with five seconds to go. They threw towards the end zone, but the pass fell incomplete.

Basic could exhale. Coronado had to accept a first-round playoff road assignment against Canyon Springs.

The slight upset propelled Basic to 4-2 since the start of October after starting the season a disappointing 0-3.

“We told the kids as the season went on that the beginning didn’t matter anymore, we could still get a home playoff game,” Cahill said. “It’s something we haven’t had at Basic in a while, since 2009, and it’s a credit to these seniors that it’s something they accomplished.”

And specifically Johnson, who validated all praise thrown his way this season. Between passing and rushing, Johnson finished the game with 470 yards and four touchdowns against the Cougars.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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