LEONARD — The Celeste Blue Devils pulled out a victory over the Leonard Tigers with the winning touchdown coming on a 16-yard pass from Jalen Rector to Truitt Murphy with seven seconds remaining in the 19-18 victory in non-district action on Friday night.
Celeste (3-0) got the ball back with just under two minutes remaining and drove 53 yards to produce the deciding points.
Late in the fourth period it looked like Leonard (1-2) had come up with the game-winning touchdown at the end of an 80-yard drive. Ronnie Hart ripped off runs of six, eight and 31 yards during the possession to get close to the end zone and Hart went over from one yard out. The conversion failed but Leonard led 18-13 with 1:42 left in the game.
Hart finished with 12 carries for 139 yards and scored twice while throwing for 169 yards while Shulze hauled in four catches for 69 yards.
On the Devils’ first possession of the game Leonard’s Michael Shulze intercepted a pass to stall the drive.
The Tigers’ also were intercepted on their second possession.
Celeste then put together a drove from 30-to-30 yard line but turned it over on downs.
Byron Bolin hauled in a 56-yard touchdown pass from Hart to complete an 85-yard drive as Leonard led, 6-0, at the end of first quarter.
Celeste put together a 56-yard scoring drive with Logan Franklin passing 13 yards to Jalen Rector. The kick was good and Celeste led 7-6 with 4:45 left in the half.
With 3:31 before half-time, Hart scored on a touchdown run. The point after failed but Leonard held a 12-7 advantage at the half.
At the 6:48 mark of the third quarter, Rector caught a 94-yard TD pass from Franklin and Celeste jumped back in front, 13-12, to set up the down-to-the-wire finish.
Franklin led Celeste with 20 carries for 98 yards and Rector had 192 yards on eight receptions.
Leonard will travel to Valley View this week for a non-district contest.