Eagles Win on an Unpredictable Final Play

Eagles bring home their second win of the season with mere seconds on the clock
Senior Hy Vuong celebrates by cheering with his teammates after winning the game against North Point 29-27.
Senior Hy Vuong celebrates by cheering with his teammates after winning the game against North Point 29-27.
Anna Simms

For the first time ever, the Eagles went head-to-head against the North Point Grizzlies on the home field. The stands were filled with proud parents, the student body dressed as senior citizens, and an insane amount of school spirit.

“We should love our school, and it’s important to show up and support,” junior Chloe Bostic said, who was one of the many students who packed the stands. 

The game was close and the result wasn’t decided until the final seconds. The Eagles came in and beat North Point 29-27 in a thrilling finish. With three seconds to go and at the goal line, Cody McMullen took the snap and snuck in to tie the game 27-27 as time expired. Then after a high snap on the extra point, Austin Steenbeke picked up the loose ball on the ground and threw the ball in desperation into the back of the end zone where Matt Manocchio was there for the catch to bring home the second Eagles win of the season. 

“We knew they were a good team, it’s a rivalry so we knew it was going to be close,” assistant coach Smith said, whose team escaped North Point last year with a 28-24 win. “We expected it to be a dog fight, I don’t know if we expected it to be this close, but we’re a good football team.”

The game started slowly as the first quarter was filled with incomplete passes and penalties, and yet by the end the score was tied 0-0.

Both teams were hit with penalties as the second quarter began putting a bad taste in people’s mouths. However, not long after, senior Marquis Williams scored the first touchdown of the game, followed by senior Austin Steenbeke making the extra point. Quickly after junior Riley Decaro scores a second touchdown, Steenbeke makes another extra point, extending the lead against the Grizzlies to 14-0. In an attempt to close the gap, the Grizzlies score a touchdown along with a two-point conversion. Finishing out the first half, the Eagles held their lead, 14-8.

“The energy and family really helped me play well,” Steenbeke said.

During the halftime show, the cheer squad took the field first with a new and exciting routine. The Belles followed with another new and energetic routine that hyped up the whole crowd. Finishing the halftime show was the Eagle Regiment and color guard performing their new routine entitled “If I Only Had a Heart.”

Starting off the second half, the Grizzlies even out the score by scoring their second touchdown of the night, followed immediately by another penalty. Halfway through the third quarter, Steenbeke scored the Eagles third touchdown, and junior Cody McMullen scored another field goal. Shortly after the Grizzlies scored yet another touchdown followed by yet another field goal. At the end of the third quarter, the score was tied 21-21.

Parker Sethlear

“I’m being honest, I thought we were going to lose. There was no energy, we just had to fight through, and we fought through, and it showed,” senior Noah Kuehner said.

The final quarter was filled with penalties and good plays, but it wasn’t until the last five minutes of the quarter that the Grizzlies scored another touchdown giving them a lead. However, the very end of the game was nail biting. Less than five yards from the end zone with three seconds on the clock and the Eagles are down by six, but McMullen scored a touchdown to tie the game. Immediately after, senior Matthew Manocchio scored a two-point conversion officially bringing the game home.

“It is so surreal, a dream come true, this is all I’ve ever wanted, ever since I was a little kid,” said McMullen.


North Point  0   8   13   6 – 27

Liberty           0   14   7   8 – 29

Second Quarter

L: Marquis Williams 2 run (Cody McMullen kick), 6:00

L: Riley Decaro 18 pass from Cody McMullen (Cody McMullen kick), 2:06

N: Trey Trennepohl 60 pass from Hoyt Gregory (Amaree Johnson pass from Trey Trennepohl), 1:30

Third Quarter

N: Trey Trennepohl 90 run (kick failed), 9:10

L: Austin Steenbeke 6 run (Cody McMullen kick), 7:50

N: Trey Dondle 53 run (Isaac Pohlman kick), 7:31

Fourth Quarter

N: Ben Clercx 6 pass from Hoyt Gregory (kick failed), 4:22

L: Cody McMullen 1 run (Matt Manocchio pass from Austin Steenbeke), 0:03

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