GRAYSON It may be long remembered as the kick heard around Grayson.
With five seconds left on the clock Saturday at Knights’ Stadium, Eric Parra lined up a potential game-winning field goal attempt as KCU looked for its first ever win over No. 24 Georgetown.
The kick sailed wide right, but a penalty marker fell to the field as the Tigers’ rush got to Parra. The senior kicker remained on the turf before being aided to the sideline with a noticeable limp. Two plays later, Parra limped back out for a second go.
Parra’s 25-yard attempt as time expired split the uprights as KCU overcame a 17-point first-half deficit for a 30-27 win.
“It’s unbelievable what you sacrifice as a coach and as a player to put yourself in that situation,” Knights’ coach Corey Fipps said. “Eric is as strong of a Christian young man that you are going to find. For what he’s been through (personally) these last few months and him to be able to do this, it’s something he’s never going to forget.”
As a senior who has been with Fipps from the beginning and everything that was riding on the kick, no one was going to keep him from doing what he was brought to the school to do.
“This was bigger than me,” Parra said. “My team sacrificed too much tonight for me not to go out there and try it out. Coach had faith me in and I felt it in my knee, but I just powered through it. It wasn’t about me anymore. It was about the school and my team.”
The Knights’ win will have many story lines to be written as it was the first game for the team under their new lights and the first win over a team that had beaten them in 10 straight meetings by an average winning margin of 35 points.
But as the lights beamed down on the turf as the second half of football began, the stagnate Knights’ offense came to life after Fipps was forced to turn to third string quarterback Josh Drucker.
Starting quarterback Jakwon Roberts battled through the first half, but Fipps felt a move had to be made for the Knights to complete the comeback effort.
“With Jakwon, we really felt we owed it to him after last week,” Fipps said. “He did all he could do but just isn’t quite there yet with what we are trying to accomplish. I don’t even know what to say about the grit that Josh Drucker had in that game.”
Drucker’s first series was nothing to remember with the exception of a Fipps tirade in his direction after failing to execute a play early in the third.
“I lit him up,” Fipps said. “I looked at him and said is all I have to do is get in your tail to fire you up. He looked at me and said, ‘Let’s go coach.’”
Fipps more than lit Drucker’s fire as the sophomore transfer out of San Juaquoin Delta Community College started the Knights’ charge.
Drucker threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns. His second score went 60 yards to Anton Wheeler who never broke stride to pull KCU to within seven with 7:16 to play in the affair.
KCU’s defense continued to stand tall and Drucker took advantage of the players he had around him. With Wheeler to his right and Devon McCoy to his left, Drucker rifled passes down field to put the Knights in position to steal a win.
“Those guys get open, I just have to get the ball to them,” Drucker said of his wide receiver duo.
McCoy finished with a game-high 213 yards on 12 receptions. Wheeler added 126 on seven grabs.
Georgetown had a chance to spoil the KCU upset hopes with just over 4 minutes to play in the contest, but the defense stood tall one final time behind an Austin Archey sack of Tigers’ quarterback Hunter Krause on fourth down to give the Knights one final shot.
Drucker floated a pass to McCoy to quickly move the Knights into Tigers’ territory to open the game-winning drive. However, his finest moment came on a ball he threaded to McCoy on the sideline to move his squad into field goal range.
“Coach dialed up a play and I just envisioned it in my head,” Drucker said. “It worked just like it was supposed to.”
KCU was held to only 154 yards at the half but racked up 422 yards in the second half while outscoring Georgetown 30-10.
De’Ante Sipp added 126 yards on the ground for the Knights, including a 1-yard touchdown run to put KCU on the board in the third.
“Our kids are unfreaking believable,” an emotional Fipps said. “If you can’t see they are changing the culture of this program, this university, you’re blind. These are good kids.”
Legendary Tigers’ coach Bill Cronin was in search of a coaching milestone in the matchup as the 23-year skipper sits one win shy of 200. Fipps joked earlier in the week of hoping to not get to see his mentor’s 200th win personally and was quick to credit the relationship they share.
“He’s a guy I respect and really look up to,” Fipps said of Cronin. “He’s told me a lot of things when I came into this league of where we need to head and what we need to do. They are just the class of the league.”
G’TOWN 7 10 0 10 — 27
KCU 0 0 7 23 — 30
G—JJ Ogbugo 67 pass from Hunter Krause (Tyler Drummer Kick), 12:05
G—Jake Johnson 21 pass from Krause (Drummer Kick), 13:41
G—Drummer 38 Field Goal, 0:01
K—De’Ante Sipp 1 run, (Eric Parra Kick), 5:06
G—Drummer 26 Field Goal, 12:21
K—Kris Lewis 3 pass from Josh Drucker, (Parra Kick), 10:19
G—Ogbugo 76 pass from Krause (Drummer Kick), 9:55
K—Anton Wheeler 60 pass from Drucker (Kick Blocked), 7:16
K—Barkei Minter 2 run (Parra Kick), 3:34
K—Parra 25 Field Goal, 0:00
First Downs 21 28
Rushes-Yards 29-100 48-215
Comp-Att-Int 22-44-2 23-41-2
Passing Yards 421 361
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Punts-Avg. 5-46.0 5-36.4
Penalties-Yards 4-24 6-35
Georgetown rushing: Pugh 9-39, Barbour 3-36, Cobb 6-33, 6-19, Leff 1-2, Krause 4- (minus-29).
KCU rushing: Sipp 23-126, Wheeler 2-38, Minter 8-27, Lewis 3-15, Drucker 4-11, Baudoin 1-1, Latimer 1-(minus-1), Roberts 6-(minus-2).
Georgetown passing: Krause 22 of 44 for 421 yards, 2INT.
KCU passing: Roberts 13 of 22 for 140 yards, 2INT, Drucker 10 of 18 for 221 yards.
Georgetown receiving: Johnson 7-183, Ogbogu 5-130, Barbour 4-55, Leff 2-22, Cobb 2-6, Pugh 1-19, Gilliam 1-6.
KCU receiving: McCoy 12-213, Wheeler 7-126, Lewis 4-22.