FAIRFIELD — In the future, this game will have a nickname, as all great games do. Maybe Cony High School fans will call it the Miracle at Keyes. Lawrence fans will surely remember it less fondly.

Down a touchdown in the closing seconds, Cony pulled off one of the all-time comebacks on Friday night, when Jordan Roddy caught a 20-yard Taylor Heath touchdown pass as time expired, then ran in the 2-point conversion to lift the Rams to a 28-27 Pine Tree Conference Class B quarterfinal win on a wet and cold night at Keyes Field. The clock operator never put the final two points of the game on the board, but with the Rams celebrating and the Bulldogs stunned, everybody knew.

No. 6 Cony, now 4-5, will play at No. 2 Brewer (7-1) next week. No. 3 Lawrence ends the season 6-3.

It was fourth-and-10 from the Lawrence 20, with 6.3 seconds left. Cony quarterback Heath rolled to his right, trying to buy time and find a receiver. Heath threw it to the end zone, where Roddy was bracketed by a pair of Lawrence defenders. Roddy leapt for the catch, pulling the Rams to within a point.

“It was supposed to be a 10-yard out, and I kind of, I don’t know, I was running around and there was four guys there. Taylor just put it in there,” Roddy said. “I didn’t know it was in my hands, until I looked down and it was right there.”

“Taylor did a good job just putting it in the end zone and giving us a chance. Stuff you dream about, really,” Cony coach B.L. Lippert added.

Remembering how his team lost to Lawrence in the semifinals two years ago, when the Bulldogs scored a late touchdown and 2-point conversion to win at Cony by the same 28-27 score, Lippert never considered going for anything but the win. He even told his team that before it took the field for the final offensive drive. On the conversion, the Rams lined up with Roddy as a wildcat quarterback. Roddy took the snap and ran left, stretching the play until he almost ran out of real estate, before crossing the goal line for the win, setting off a Cony celebration.

“We kind of gave up some yards in the fourth quarter. They were gashing us on the ground, so we figured overtime from the 10 (yard line) probably wasn’t going to bode well for us. We went for the win there, put the ball in (No.) 24’s hands. I never doubted he was going to get in. He had to stretch it wide, but he’s pretty instinctive,” Lippert said.

Cony’s game-winning drive started at its own 20 with 1:42 left in the game. Heath completed two quick passes, to Roddy and Chad Bickford, to gain 32 yards and get the Rams to Lawrence’s side of the field. With 31 seconds left, Heath ran for 2 yards on fourth-and-1 at the Lawrence 22 to keep the drive alive. Three straight incompletions set up the final, crucial play.

“That last drive was hard to take, but they made the plays. That fourth down catch was the major play of the game,” Lawrence coach John Hersom, who praised Cony’s coaching, said. “Getting it in their best player’s hands was a good call for them. We just couldn’t keep them away.”

Before Cony’s last drive, it looked like this would be a come-from-behind Lawrence win. Trailing 20-13 entering the fourth quarter, Lawrence tied the game with 9:45 when Devon Webb completed a 76-yard halfback pass to Gunner McAllister. After forcing Cony to punt from midfield, Lawrence went 79 yards in nine plays, taking its first lead of the game when Jared Dodge caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Braden Ballard with 1:42 to play.

“We’ve been practicing it for about a month now. That was a big play for us,” Hersom said of the perfectly executed halfback pass. “We were kind of on our heels a bit tonight, and our kids made a nice push to take the lead in the fourth quarter.”

Cony took a 6-0 lead with 3:55 left in the first quarter when Heath hit Roddy (eight catches, 102 yards) for a 10-yard touchdown pass. After Jason Barnes returned an interception 44 yards to the Lawrence 31, Heath capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run for a 13-0 Cony lead.

Lawrence answered when Webb scored on a 5-yard run, cutting the Rams lead to 13-6 with 6:17 to play in the second quarter. After Cony lost the ball on downs at the Bulldog 28, Lawrence went 72 yards to tie the game on a one yard plunge by Ballard. The touchdown was set up by Riley Parlin’s 53 yard run to the Cony 4.

The Rams led 20-13 at the half, scoring when Heath scored on a 2-yard run with 35 seconds to play. Heath threw for 246 yards. Roddy ran for 49 to go with his 102 yards receiving.

Parlin had 77 yards rushing for Lawrence, while McAllister had 184 yards of offense, 119 receiving and 65 rushing.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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