By SCOTT JACKSON
Courier sports writer
---- — PEKIN — Blaine Gretter turned what would have been a disastrous play in the history of the "Backyard Brawl" into a play that will truly never be forgotten in the hills of Keokuk County. Gretter took a bad snap on a potential game-winning field goal attempt and dashed into the left corner of the end zone on the final play of the game to lift Sigourney-Keota to a thrilling 27-21 win over No. 8 (A) Pekin in a truly memorable meeting between classic "Skunk River" rivals Friday night at Tom Stone Field.
Gretter’s heads-up play capped a final 57-yard drive by the Savage Cobras (2-0), which started after Pekin had completed a 15-point fourth-quarter rally with Kolby Allsup’s 15-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion dive into the end zone for Pekin with 1:13 to go to tie the game at 21-21. Two plays later, SK’s Kolton Greiner hit Kevin Weber on a deep 38-yard pass to the Panther 13.
After a nine-yard run with under a minute left, Greiner was brought down with 11 seconds left back on the Pekin 8 after a four-yard loss, forcing SK to use its final timeout. After Luke Lyle’s pass to the end zone on third down was incomplete with four seconds left, Savage Cobra head coach Jared Jensen opted for a 25-yard field goal try by kicker Colby Kerkove. The snapped hit the ground in front of Gretter, the holder and backup quarterback, who immediately picked up the ball and headed to the end zone diving in just ahead of Pekin defenders setting off a wild celebration among the Savage Cobra players.
Both teams open district play next Friday. S-K (2-0) heads to Wilton in 1A, District 6 while No. 8 (A) Pekin (1-1) travels to Lynnville-Sully in A, District 6.
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