With 14 seconds left in a hard-fought game for first place in the Three Rivers District on Senior Night for the Floyd County High Buffaloes football squad, Coach Wilfred Beale did not hesitate after a late-game touchdown gave the Buffs a chance to tie or win. He gave quarterback Rylan Swortzel the sign to go for a two-point conversion.
For Swortzel, who scored the second touchdown for the Buffaloes with a long run earlier in the game, the quarterback sneak didn’t work as the Radford Bobcats stuffed the play and came away with a 28-27 win.
For the Buffaloes, coming into the same with a six-game winning streak, the play was the kind of play that had given the team wins in a triple-overtime match this season and come-from-behind victories more than once.
After falling behind 21-14 before halftime, the Bobcats seemed to have the game out of reach with a 28-14 lead in the fourth quarter, but Swortzel connected with Kaiden Swortzel with a short pass for a touchdown with just under five minutes left in the game, making the game 28-21. A successful onside kick followed and Swortzel battled the clock and Radford for 12 plays, culminating with a six-yard pass for the touchdown with 14 seconds left.
“We just had the momentum and I thought we had to play to win the game on our home field,” Beale told The Roanoke Times after the game. “If you got a chance to win it, you go win it. We just didn’t execute the play.”
Swortzel had a strong night, completing 11 of 16 passes with three touchdowns and 88 rushing yards including a rushing TD. Trevor Miller ran for 139 yards on 34 plays. Kaiden Sortzel had nine catches for 83 yards and three touchdown catches.
The Buffaloes go into the last two games of the regular season on the road at Alleghany and Carroll County. A win at either of those two games could bring one of the post-season games to FCHS.