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Turpin Drives 90 Yards in 50 Seconds, Wins a Thriller!

Posted on: October 22, 2019
Tags: Football
Spartans WIn

In what will go down in the annals of Turpin Lore as one of the greatest games ever to be played in Spartan Stadium, the 2019 Turpin Spartan Football team showed what perseverance means.  Already down Reece Evans, Mark Middendorf, and Jake Bruner to season ending injuries, the Spartans lost another key piece of their offense on the first series when Kaidan Naughton went down with a lower body injury.

Despite these unfortunate events, Turpin claimed a 14-7 halftime lead with two Justin Silverstein passes, one each to Logan Hurley and Josh Bell.  This lead was greatly aided by the defense, which caused a fumble and held their opponent out of the red zone in the first half. 

The tide turned following the second half kickoff.  Despite a 54 yard TD pass from Silverstein to Hurley, Turpin was outscored 21-7 in the third quarter.  The offense was struggling to find a rhythm without their two primary offensive threats and despite the efforts of Miles Molloy and others, Turpin would not find the endzone after Silverstein’s third TD pass and would be trailing 28-21 as time wound down. 

Turpin failed on a fourth down conversion and their opponent took over at their own 35 yard line with a little less than 2 minutes remaining in the game.  Turpin’s defense held without yielding a first down, Coach McCullough used all three time outs, forcing a punt with about 90 second remaining.  Following the punt, Turpin took over at their own 10, needing 90 yards in 69 seconds to force overtime.  The outcome was in doubt, the Turpin crowd was quiet and the rival crowd let them know it was all but over.  Or was it…

Silverstein engineered what will go down in Turpin History as THE DRIVE.  After two short completions to the 20 yard line, Turpin had 40 seconds, the clock was running, and there was little hope.  What followed had to be seen to be believed. 

PLAY ONE – Turpin had to go deep and Silverstein found Josh Bell streaking down the sideline having beaten his defender.  Bell hauled in the perfectly thrown ball for a 47 yard gain to the opponent’s 31 yard line.

PLAY TWO – Turpin split 3 receivers to the left, isolating Bell on the right.  Silverstein dropped back, looked to his left to draw the safeties that way, glanced right to see Bell one on one with a defender, and lofted a perfect ball to Bell’s outside shoulder, allowing Bell to haul it in and the goal line and into the endzone for a touchdown.  Turpin trailed by one with 19 seconds to go.  An extra point would force overtime.

PLAY THREE – Coach McCullough, aka The Gambler, played a hunch and made the gutsy call to go for two.  The Spartans pushed all their chips into the middle and their perfect season would come down to one play.  Silverstein was again in shotgun, Bell to his right, Max Gundrum to his left.  Silverstein caught the snap, saw Gundrum in perfect position and lofted another perfect pass.  Gundrum leapt into the air and secured possession of the pass.   The defender was unable to wrench it from his hands and he landed in bounds!  Turpin converted the 2 point conversion and now led 29-28!!!

There were still 19 seconds left and Turpin knew the game was not over.  After a fair catch on the subsequent kickoff, Turpin’s defense had to secure the victory.  Fortunately, Matthew Johnson did just that, intercepting a pass on the third play. 

With a snap in Victory Formation, Turpin had completed one of the most improbable comebacks in their 40 year history.  90 yards, 69 seconds, 3 perfect passes, 2 sure handed receivers, and a memory that will last a lifetime for one brotherhood.