Miller scores in last seconds to win
In the final seconds Friday night in a key region game against No. 6 Washington County, T.R. Miller scored on a 45-yard Hail Mary as time expired and added a two-point conversion to stun Washington County and claim a 36-35 win.
With less than 20 seconds to go and trailing 35-28, T.R. Miller Tiger quarterback Wil Riggs scrambled around in the backfield and threw the ball to the end zone, where Jaren Jackson plucked the ball from 5 yards out and bulled his way into the end zone as time expired.
As the Tigers went for a two-point conversion, Jamaal Spears ran the ball around left end and was hit at the goal line. He fell in to give the Tigers a 36-35 heart-stopping win.
“I just knew if I threw it deep, somebody would make the play,” Wil Riggs said. “The offensive line just gave me enough time to scramble around and I knew where I was going and the ball was going to No. 22 (Jaren Jackson). I knew it all the time. Don’t ever count us out.”
Jackson said he just did his part to help his team win.
“All the squats and all the weights we did in the summer, that is just what I put into it,” Jaren Jackson said. “That was a nice job of (Jamaal Spears) to get into the end zone (for the two-point conversion). I just did my part. Wil made a nice play and the offensive line gave him enough time. The play was not designed for me to catch, but I just had to do what I had to do to get the win.”
Spears said he knew he was in the end zone to get the game-winning points.
“It was kind of difficult at first, but when I saw the hole, I was glad I got in and I was thinking about my team the whole way,” Spears said. “Once, I got hit, I really did not know where I was at, I just knew I was over the goal line. This win feels great. We deserved it.”
With T.R. Miller leading 28-14 at the half, Washington County came out in the second half and scored 21 unanswered points to take a 35-28 lead with 1:25 left in the game.
From there, T.R. Miller took over at the 20-yard line with 1:25 left in the game and on six plays moved the ball to the Washington County 45-yard line to set up the score.
“Well, I guess everyone got their money’s worth tonight,” T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said. “They are a really good team and my hat goes off to them. We never stopped them in the second half. We got down there twice and did not get the thing in. Had I done a few things better down there in the second half, and we had got those in, we might had won the game. I made some mistakes down there and it hurt us and the players bailed me out here.”
Riggs said the last play of the game was a play his team worked on Thursday afternoon in practice.
“It was where we just basically sling it up to the end zone,” Riggs said. “And I will say this, Jaren Jackson, when it gets down to the nitty gritty and you have got to have it, he needs to be close to where it is going on. I knew when he let go of the ball and Jaren was down there, we had a chance. That is all you can ask for in that situation. Then, I had already told coach Hart if we scored, we were going for two. No better than we have been kicking extra points, we did not want to tie the game and play overtime with them.
“We had not stopped them in the second half and we did not want to play overtime.”
T.R. Miller got on the scoreboard first when Spears gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 10:07 left in first quarter after scoring on the fourth play of game from 11 yards out.
Washington County struck back with a 30-yard run from quarterback James Beech to tie game at 7-7 with 5:05 left in the quarter.
With the game still tied heading into the second, T.R. Miller took a 14-7 lead with 8:16 left after Jackson scored on a 5-yard run. T.R. Miller then got a Bulldog fumble to set up another Jackson score with 4:38 left in the game to lead 21-7.
Washington County quickly made it a one score game as they scored on three plays after a 28-yard run from Devonta Parker to cut lead to 21-14.
T.R. Miller added their final score of the first half when Riggs connected with Spears for a 24-yard touchdown to lead 28-14 with 12.1 seconds left before the half.
T.R. Miller racked up 413 total yards of offense with 259 coming in the first half and 154 in the second.
T.R. Miller had 124 yards on the ground in the first half and 85 in the second while having 135 yards passing in the first and 69 in the second.
Washington County had 361 total yards (253 rushing and 108 passing).
Jackson led T.R. Miller on the ground with 101 yards rushing on 27 carries and two touchdowns.
Riggs finished 10-for-14 for 204 yards and two touchdowns and Jackson led receiving with three catches for 61 yards and one touchdown for a total of 162 yards three touchdowns of total offense.