On Friday night, Hobart quarterback Andrew Barras had a chance to showcase his clutch comeback abilities when a possible upset was staring him right in the face.
Down 27-21 with less than three minutes remaining in the game, the Brickies took possession at their own 35-yard line after a Keegan Higgins 11-yard touchdown run. Barras drove the Brickies into K.V.'s red zone in about two minutes, and hit Drey Devereaux for a 10-yard touchdown on fourth down, giving the Brickies a 28-27 win after a Matt Plesac PAT.
A blocked extra point attempt on the Higgins touchdown was the difference in the Northwest Crossroads Conference game.
“I was thinking 'Well, we better get this,'” said Barras, who threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns. “We obviously wanted to win, and as seniors, we never want to lose on our home field.”
Devereaux caught eight passes for 129 yards, earning the praises of Hobart coach Ryan Turley.
“Drey is a playmaker,” he said. “He wants the ball in his hands, he wants his number called in those situations. This group of seniors, they've been a big part of the turnaround we've had. They're leading our team in the right direction.”
With the momentum in favor of Hobart (4-0, 2-0) in the first quarter, K.V. (1-3, 0-2) finally came alive on defense, as Bob Aguillon returned a blocked punt for a 7-yard touchdown.
After Hobart's Noah Smith raced 30 yards for a score, Kougars quarterback Darrick Webster found Matt Myers for a 37-yard touchdown, cutting Hobart's lead 21-14 just before halftime.
K.V. went to an eight-man line in the second half and ran the ball down Hobart's throat, eating clock and tiring out the Brickies defense.
“They were not prepared for it, I don't think,” Kougars coach Brad Stewart said. “Our kids are now understanding the blocking scheme out of the eight-man line better than they have before.”
Hobart tight end Nick Bokun made his offensive impact in a big way during the first quarter. He hauled in two highlight-reel receptions, first an 18-yard reception for a first down in which he laid out to corral a deflection off Devereaux's hands. The second was a diving, 25-yard touchdown catch that helped put the Brickies up 14-0 with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
“We've been flat, and we feel this might be the thing that'll kick start us into the team that we thought we were going to have in the beginning,” Stewart said.