Tuscarora quarterback Daniel Smith scored 4 touchdowns, threw for two more, and James Douglas added three touchdowns on the ground as the Huskies offense exploded in a wild 63-49 win over North Stafford to advance in the 5A North playoffs.
The teams were tied 28-28 to start the second half, but Smith rolled out to his left and scored on a 21-yard run to give Tuscarora a lead they would not relinquish. That didn’t mean the home team could at any point relax until the final minutes, however, as North Stafford kept answering.
A 13-yard pass from Smith to Gunnar Biebighauser made it 42-28, but North Stafford receiver Guy Keith – a 6-foot-3 215-pound receiver who Tuscarora had no answer for – caught a long pass to give the Wolverines the ball on the Tusky 4. On the next play, Liam Kauthen scored on a jet sweep to close the gap to 42-35.
But just as Tuscarora couldn’t stop Keith, North Stafford couldn’t stop Douglas or Smith. Following the ensuing kickoff, Douglas carried the ball for 4, 6 and 40 yards right up the middle to move the lead back to two scores. Keith responded with a 12-yard catch on a fade in the end zone from Jimmy Edwards to make it 49-42, but then Smith capped a 7-play 76-yard drive with a 16-yard scoring run to make it 56-42.
Tuscarora’s Jonathan Roebuck would then come up with his second interception of the game to move the contest out of reach. The Huskies converted the turnover into a 54-yard touchdown run by Douglas, making the lead an insurmountable 21 points at 63-42. Keith would then finish the scoring with an 11-yard jump ball catch in the end zone for the final margin.
The game started out at a much slower pace, as Naukym Morton began the scoring for North Stafford on a 42-yard run to make it 7-0, the only score of the first quarter. But the two teams would combine to score 49 in the second, as Tuscarora stormed back behind Smith. Smith ran 79 yards to the North Stafford 1, then Douglas carried it into the end zone to tie the score. Facing a 4th and 2 from the North Stafford 5 on the next possession, Smith would calmly toss a touchdown pass to Nic Speroni to give the Huskies the lead.
North Stafford quickly answered, tying the game on a 55-yard pass from Jimmy Edwards to Devyn Ford with 3:17 left in the half. Then things really exploded.
Two long runs by Smith got Tuscarora into the red zone, and 3 plays later he scored from a yard out to make it 21-14. North Stafford needed one play – an 80-yard pass from Edwards to Guy Keith that was underthrown but Keith made a great run – to tie it at 21. Tuscarora fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Edwards connected with Curtis Davis – the guy who recovered the fumbled kickoff – from 40 yards out to make it 28-21.
Smith then drove Tuscarora down the field with only a minute left, pulling off a 17-yard quarterback draw with 23 seconds left to tie the game at 28-28....