With 17 seconds left, Summit quarterback Destin Wade hobbled back onto the field after missing three plays with a cramp in his lower left leg.
He took the snap, faked to his left, cut to his right and found a seam right through the middle of the Independence defense for a go-ahead eight-yard touchdown run.
The score capped off a six-play, 73-yard game-winning drive for the Summit Spartans, who took the “Border Battle” for the second straight year over the Independence Eagles.
“I had a cramp and I’ve got to give credit to my trainer, he helped me through it,” Wade said of the last drive. “I can give God the glory. On that last play, I just knew I had to get close to the end zone. I knew I had to put my team on my back and make that game-winning touchdown.”
Added Summit coach Brian Coleman: “That last play was just Destin Wade making a play and the offensive line blocking for him. It’s the will to win. This team has great character and every team is going to be different. We saw this team had no quit tonight.”
With his twin brother and standout running back Keaten out for the next 6-8 weeks with a broken left ankle, Destin dusted off his Superman cape. The 6-foot-3 junior QB accounted for 506 yards of total offense (257 passing, 249 rushing) and six total touchdowns.
“We just game planned for different passing strategies and run strategies (without Keaten),” Destin Wade said. “We tried to move their defense and I think we did a pretty good job in the second half doing that. In the first half, we were a little rusty.”
With the help of Brady Pierce (four receptions, 140 yards, two touchdowns) and Brandon King (three receptions, 51 yards, two touchdowns), Wade rallied the Spartans from down 21-6 with 8:29 left in the third quarter.
Wade connected on touchdown passes of 75, 40, eight and seven yards before finishing off the double-digit comeback himself on the final drive.
“We were down by two scores, and we just as a team knew we had to answer them back every time they scored," Wade said. “Our offensive line did a great job tonight.”
“We’re trying to have different people step up,” Coleman said. “Brandon King had a good game; Brady Pierce had a great game. We have to take all the pressure off of Destin, he can’t do it all… This was a great wake-up call for our team.
"They get confidence that they can do this, and they can contribute to this team. They know they have to pick Destin up. They know he’s a player, but heck, he’s running his tail off and we have to help him out more.”
Independence receiver-turned-quarterback Jaxson Campbell had a solid showing in his first start as Eagles QB. Last season, Campbell was Independence’s leading receiver with 73 receptions, 942 yards and six touchdowns.
In his 2020 debut, the 6-foot senior threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 130 yards and two more scores on the ground. Sophomore tailback Tre Hartwell added 82 yards rushing and a touchdown of his own.
Summit hosts Centennial next Friday at 7 p.m. Independence is on the road next week at Southwind in Memphis.