In a matchup between Jackson-Milton and Mineral Ridge, Samuel Conn’s game-winning field goal secured a 23-20 victory for the Blue Jays. Although the kick was not the prettiest, Conn was relieved to see the ball go through the uprights. With only one second left on the clock, the senior kicker’s 20-yard field goal lifted Jackson-Milton to a 4-0 record while handing Mineral Ridge their first loss of the season.
Reflecting on his game-winning kick, Conn described it as unimaginable and difficult to put into words. Despite not being aesthetically pleasing, Conn emphasized that the result was what mattered most. The opportunity for the game-winning field goal came after Jackson-Milton quarterback Cayden Mitchell completed a pass to Aiden Stanke, who carried the ball to the four-yard line. Head coach Nate Brode called a timeout, and although the clock initially read zero, the officials added a second to enable the game-winning attempt.
The game itself was a high-stakes matchup between two undefeated teams in the MVAC-Scarlet Tier. Jackson-Milton took an early lead, with Mitchell throwing a touchdown pass to Stanke after bridging a false start penalty setback. However, Mineral Ridge fought back, led by senior running back Ian Erb, who scored two consecutive touchdowns to give his team a 13-7 lead.
In the second half, Jackson-Milton made adjustments and came out strong. Despite not scoring on their first drive, the Blue Jays’ adjustments proved fruitful. Vincent Fay’s punt return set them up in great field position, and Stanke scored a touchdown from seven yards out. Mitchell then found the end zone from two yards away, putting Jackson-Milton back in the lead. Mineral Ridge responded with a touchdown drive led by Jacob Russell. However, Jackson-Milton rallied back and Conn’s field goal ended a 13-play drive, securing the win with only one second remaining.
Brode regarded the victory as one of his top wins due to the thrilling finish. With the clock ticking down, the last-second victory was a memorable moment for the Blue Jays.