The play was just recently installed by the Simley coaching staff, tagged with typical undecipherable football coding.
Eagle Green Texas Q.
Run out of a spread set, it utilizes misdirection and confusion. Trailing by 10 points with 3:03 left in the first half, it was time to unveil it.
It worked more perfectly than they could imagine. Quarterback Caden Renslow ran through an open gap, broke a tackle and raced 44 yards for a touchdown. It sparked a Simley rally while simultaneously dousing the momentum Hutchinson had built. Most importantly, it gave the Spartans the confidence to go toe-to-toe with the six-time state champion Tigers and proved to be the catalyst to Simley's 34-24 victory in the Class 4A championship game at Friday's Prep Bowl.
"I just saw the opening, went through couple of arm tackles and then just saw the highway to end zone," Renslow said.
Hutchinson has a well-deserved, tournament-tested reputation. Simley (12-1) was playing in the Prep Bowl for just the second time in team history.
When Hutchinson scored back-to-back touchdowns in the second quarter, both the culmination of long, physical drives, to take a 16-6 lead, it was easy to assume the Tigers were cranking up the road-grader to methodically grind down Simley.
Instead, Renslow's score — his second touchdown of the first half — cut Simley's deficit to 16-13 at halftime. The Spartans then opened the second half with a 10-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard pass from Renslow to Connor Bimley for a 20-16 lead.
Hutchinson, which had demolished Simley 40-0 in the Class 4A semifinals a year ago, regained the lead 24-20 on A.J. Ladwig's third rushing touchdown of the game but Simley responded immediately. Renslow his David Gogins with a 17-yard strike in the seam, putting the Spartans back on top at 27-24 with 3:10 left.
La'Tayvion McCoy-Nunn's pick-six less than two minutes later sealed the victory.
Simley star running back/linebacker Gavin Nelson, who has won multiple wrestling state championships, admitted winning a football title is a bit more special.
"In wrestling, if you lose, if you win, it's all on you," Nelson said. "In football, there's 10 other guys in the field with you. I think it makes it 10 times more special."