Sports

Hail Mary with no time left gives KLC wild win

Girdaukas also sets state record as a result

JUSTIN HENDRIKSE (second from left) kicks in the extra point with no time on the clock to give KLC a one-point win. – photo by Jenni Pickel

What a finish.

As time expired Friday, Robby Michael completed a 74-yard touchdown pass to Colin Girdaukas to tie the score and then Justin Hendrikse made the point-after kick to give the Kohler/Lutheran/Christian football team a 51-50 victory over visiting New Holstein.

“It was complete craziness and everyone was just going nuts,” Hendrikse said. “It’s probably the craziest ending I’ve ever seen.”

Because of the catch, Girdaukas broke the state’s single-game record for most receiving yards with 339 (on seven catches) and Michael’s 579 yards passing became the third-most ever in a game in Wisconsin.

KLC improved to 3-0 by starting its last drive with just 17 seconds remaining on its own 21-yard line and trailing by six points.

KLC JUNIOR Justin Hendrikse (right) celebrates with Noah Heinen after his point-after kick won the game. – photo by Jenni Pickel

After an incomplete pass, Casey Verhagen caught the ball for a very short gain in the middle of the field with about 10 seconds to go.

KLC did not have any timeouts and the team quickly got up to the line of scrimmage.

“I’m thinking spike the ball and coach was telling me to just run the play,” Michael said. “I knew to look for Colin because he’s the fastest man on the field. So I threw it as far as I can and gave him a chance to go catch it.”

Michael took the snap with 2 seconds left, rolled to his right and threw a bomb to Girdaukas down the right sideline. He caught it in tight coverage around the 25-yard line, stumbled a little bit at the 15, and scampered untouched into the end zone to tie the score.

However, a penalty flag was thrown.

“I was just in shock,” Michael said.

The sideline official threw it and nobody was quite sure why, according to Eigenberger.

“We thought they were going to say Colin stepped out of bounds but they ended up picking the flag up,” he said. “So that took a couple minutes for them to sort out why they even threw the flag in the first place.

“That was even crazier.”

So was trying the first extra-point kick of the season considering KLC always goes for the 2-point conversion instead.

“The last couple of games we haven’t been as successful as I’d probably like,” Eigenberger said. “We didn’t have a timeout so I couldn’t set anything up based on what we’d already seen.”

Hendrikse, who missed last season with a broken arm and had never attempted a point-after kick or field goal in high school, was asked to win the game.

“I wasn’t too surprised because I’d been practicing a few times during the week, and I warmed up before the game by kicking a few,” Hendrikse said. “I was ready for it.”
Only New Holstein called timeout.

“I was not nervous at all,” Hendrikse said. “I was pumped up.”

He then made the kick to keep his team tied for first place in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference.

“It was great all around,” Eigenberger said. “The snap, the hold, the kick. It was perfect all around for something we typically don’t do.”

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