BILLINGS – Sports memories can be fantastic. Especially when you’re team is on the winning side. But in this case it doesn’t matter whether your team was even in the game.
It was a championship finish heard around the state and your Class B all-stars recount it this week at workouts in Billings.
Safe to say, this year’s stars are fighting an uphill battle. No matter how good a show they put on Friday night, there’s no way they can beat the last game on a Class B field.
“Pretty much everywhere I go, at least one person says something to me about it,” said Eureka receiver Austyn Sherwood.
“I watched it probably 14 times,” admitted Manhattan receiver Cole McCloud.
“I actually saw it on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it,” marveled one of this year’s all-star coaches.
It’s a play that will go down in Montana lore. Trailing Missoula Loyola 28-25 with eight seconds left and no timeouts, Eureka Lions quarterback Garrett Graves had just one thing to say to his team.
“He goes, ‘Hey, get the hell open,'” recalled Eureka running back Cannan Smith, “and we’re like, ‘Well shoot, we better get open.”
So Sherwood, a senior receiver, did just that – and caught Graves’ Hail Mary as time expired. But at the 3-yard line, he wasn’t done yet.
“I knew I needed to get in the end zone, so I just started backing up until I could see the goal line in front of me,” said Sherwood.
The title-winning touchdown garnered every reaction imaginable from Class B’s best around the state.
“I was freaking out for them,” remembered Colstrip’s Ben Galloway. “It was just insane, I was just at home watching it on my phone. I was freaking out.”
“I was automatically texting dudes just asking what was going on up there,” recalled McCloud. “Such an awesome play, so cool for those guys, so cool for things to end like that.”
It seems the only person who didn’t react was Sherwood.
“I didn’t even realize what happened at the time,” he said. “I just made sure I was in the end zone, check the clock, and by that time I was getting tackled by my teammates.”
The Lions, though, are happy to tell the story this week as often as anyone wants to hear it.
“I’ve watched the game, I’ve watched the highlights of the game about a billion times it seems like, and for sure that’s the game I remember every single down,” said Smith.
“It’s nice to relive that moment,” said Sherwood. “It was a good day.”
Class B’s North and South all-stars square off at 7 p.m. Friday night at Rocky Mountain College. What are the odds of another fantastic finish?