GARY | On paper, maybe there were not a lot of people expecting the Boone Grove-Roosevelt game to be a riveting double overtime thriller.
But that’s exactly what it was.
The Panthers beat the Wolves 38-32 on a 10-yard touchdown run by senior running back/quarterback Jerry Ruiz in the second overtime to put the capper on a wild game.
The game saw three ties and a host of big plays, and Ruiz was right in the middle of most of it. The 5-foot-8 senior played quarterback for a good deal of the night, throwing for two scores and running for 118 yards and the game-winner. He also returned a punt 54 yards to set up a 12-yard touchdown pass from senior wide receiver/quarterback Nigel Coles to junior wide receiver Saleem El-Amin.
“We were big underdogs coming in,” Ruiz said. “It feels amazing. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
The win is Roosevelt’s second in as many weeks.
“It’s huge for these guys, it shows the character we’re building and the school is building,” Panthers coach Jeff Karras said. “We’re getting better, and I couldn’t be more proud of our players and our coaching staff.”
Boone Grove had a chance to win in the first overtime after Roosevelt scored but failed on their two-point attempt. Wolves senior quarterback Dean Hill hit tight end Jake Clapp for a touchdown on the ensuing possession, but a false start penalty pushed them back on the extra point attempt, and Hill’s kick was no good.
Boone Grove got the ball first in the second overtime, but Coles intercepted the ball in the end zone on a fourth down pass attempt, setting up for Ruiz’s heroics.
“My heart was pounding,” Ruiz said of scoring the winning touchdown. “But I would re-live it 1,000 times.”