NEWPORT-- Hunter Smith has been one of the top wide receivers in class C this season.
On Saturday afternoon, Smith played quarterback and made a dramatic play to give the Foxcroft Ponies an 8-6 victory over the Nokomis Warriors.
The Ponies were trailing 6-0 with 16 seconds left, and were 57 yards from the end zone.
Smith took the direct snap, ran those 57 yards to tie the score as time expired. Smith ran into the end zone for the two point conversion to give the Ponies a dramatic victory.
"Coach (Danny White) had faith in me, he trusted me,"Smith said. "We went right up the middle. Spread everyone out, they wanted us to throw a deep pass. Coach wanted me to run up the middle and make a play."
Smith was playing quarterback with starter Hunter Law out due to injury. The sophomore rushed for 129 yards on 29 carries.
"We had one timeout left. They (Nokomis) were sagging way off, I felt it was just as good of a time to run it,"Foxcroft coach Danny White said. "If we could get past the original line of scrimmage, there was plenty of open field. Hunter in the open field is as good as anybody. He (Smith) made the play, made it happen."
The Ponies only had 143 yards of total offense before the final play. They were also missing starting fullback Corey Bjornson.
Dominic Erickson connected with Ray Girroir for a 30 yard touchdown with 3:04 left in the third quarter to give the Warriors a 6-0 lead.
Nokomis finishes the season with a record of 3-5.
The win clinched a home playoff game next week for the Ponies.
"We were saying 'do it for the seniors'. We wanted them to have one more home game in their senior year,"Smith said. "We made it happen, it feels phenomenal."
The Ponies snapped a three game losing streak and will hope to get healthy and carry momentum into the playoffs.
"It is huge for us. Three weeks without a 'W' is a long time to keep teenagers engaged mentally and get them to realize there is a bigger picture. We were able to do that despite some injuries,"White said. "Get out of here with a win, the way we did it, on a dramatic play, couldn't ask for more from the kids. We had three freshmen playing the whole game. That is big time for us."
Freshman Billy Brock stepped in defensively for the Ponies. Brock finished with 18 tackles.
He (Brock) stepped up. He played defense all year for us. He had to play a bigger role today, he played every down,"White said. "He stuck his nose in there and did a great job."
The Ponies will hope to get Law and Bjornson back for their first round playoff game against Belfast.
Bjornson rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-27 Ponies victory over Belfast on September 20th.
"Hopefully we can be healthy. In order to beat Belfast, it is going to take more than what we brought today for personal on both sides of the football,"White said. "We know they (Belfast) are a good football team. It is a rematch that was decided by one point a month and a half ago. There is a good chance both (Law and Bjornson) of them will be back."
Peter Boyer rushed for 65 yards on 18 carries for the Ponies. Boyer had a 28 yard run towards the end zone in the first half. Boyer lost the ball before getting in for the score.
Boyer finished with 14 defensive tackles. Corbyn Bruce had 13 tackles, Kolby Kendall added 12 tackles.
Noah Kershner powered the Warriors offense with 91 yards on 24 carries. Dylan Thibodeau rushed for 51 yards on 15 carries.
Erickson threw for 78 yards on 5-12 passing. Girroir had 43 receiving yards on three catches. Josh King had 35 yards on two catches.