By Brett Barnes
Walter Cannon’s theory called the “Fight or Flight Response” states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal to either fight or flee.
With 11:02 left in the 4th quarter, the Waynesville Spartans had just taken a ten point lead over the Milton-Union Bulldogs. With their season on the line, the M-U Bulldogs now had to fight or flee. They chose to fight. M-U capped off an incredible last eleven minutes of football with two touchdowns and incredible defense, winning the game and keeping their playoff and league title hopes alive, 37-34.
The fourth quarter actually mirrored the first when M-U jumped to an early 17-7 lead behind touchdowns from David Karns and Brad Stine, and a 23-yard field goal from Nick Fields.
However, in the second and third quarters, Waynesville moved the ball with ease and scored every time they touched the football: a Dillon Sarka 22-yd field goal, a Troy Black 8-yd touchdown run and 6-yd scamper, a Black to Cory Stillwell 18-yd touchdown strike, and finally a Sarka 29-yd field goal. While Waynesville was scoring at will, the Bulldogs were only able to score once, when Tyler Brown powered in from nine yards away early in the third quarter.
Now with 11:02 remaining in the football game, a powerful 10-play, 65-yd drive ended with a huge Bulldog touchdown. Brad Stine, who had 40 yards on the drive, dove in from the 1-yd line for his second touchdown of the game, and when Fields added the extra point, the home crowd stomped its approval at 34-31.
Remember Waynesville had scored on five straight possessions. But this time, a holding penalty and a false start killed the drive before it even started, and the Spartans had to punt, giving the Bulldogs the football back at the Waynesville 44-yd line with 4:50 remaining.
Brown motored for five yards. Karns scampered for ten, and Stine ran up the middle for nine more. Then on senior night, a senior finished it off. Tyler Brown made this a night the seniors will never forget pounding to the 9-yd line, and then his most important run of the season, a 9-yd touchdown giving the Bulldogs a 37-34 lead.
Waynesville had one last chance with 3:04 remaining. Black hit Justin Stanley for 19 yards and a quick first down. A running play and an incomplete pass netted only three yards, and on third and seven, Black dropped to pass. Andrew Lynn rushed Black, stripped the football, and sacked him. The ball was recovered by the Spartans, leaving them 4th down and 24 yards to go. Black’s final pass of the night fell incomplete, and the Bulldogs took a knee in victory formation.
Milton-Union stands at 7-2 and travels to Northridge next Friday evening. Waynesville falls to 6-3.