PORTLAND — As players from both sides exchanged handshakes, Marc Garcia paced back and forth around the turf in Wildcats Stadium.

Frustrated and seemingly inconsolable, the Alice High School linebacker and others couldn’t believe what had just happened… how the Gregory-Portland Wildcats answered everything the Alice Coyotes put up and then somehow made overtime look easy for a 36-29 win.

After the Coyotes scored a go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard run by quarterback Trey Jaramillo with 55 seconds left on the clock, Gregory-Portland came back and stunned Alice by scoring in just two plays. Their score came on a 22-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Austin Ochoa to Brenden Landgraf with 22 seconds left to play.

Landgraf’s torment of Alice’s defense continued in overtime. He ended the Wildcats’ overtime possession with a quick 23-yard reception for a touchdown.

The quick score put the pressure of overtime on Alice’s shoulders, and while they had managed to get into the end zone when they needed to throughout the game, the Coyotes couldn’t in overtime. A series of penalties and a sack moved Alice back in the possession. What started out as a first and 10 at the 15-yard line turned into a third-and-28 at the 33. The Coyotes’ third and fourth down pass attempts fell incomplete giving the Wildcats the win.

Adding to the heartbreak for the Coyotes was they seemingly played well throughout the ball game. Jaramillo completed 11 of 26 passes for 233 yards and the Coyotes finished with more than 350 yards of total offense for the fourth week in a row.

Alice got on the scoreboard first following a big pass play from Jaramillo to Orlando Espinoza. The big game set up a six-yard run by Alex Gonzales. Alice made good on a two-point conversion on a pass from R.J. Galvan to Sean Chapa.

Gregory-Portland came back with a solid drive, capped off by a 13-yard scoring pass from Ochoa to Landgraf. Ochoa ended the night with 257 yards in passing. Landgraf had seven receptions for 174 yards. He also had four touchdown catches.

The Coyotes caught a break late in the second quarter when they missed a field goal, but were given another chance at the play after the Wildcats were called for running into the kicker. This time, Alice used a trick play in Jaramillo pitched the ball to Devyn Orta who then passed it back to Jaramillo in the end zone for a 12-yard scored.

The score seemed to take the air out of the Wildcats’ sails, but Gregory-Portland was able to move the ball against the Alice defense and setup a 36-yard scoring strike from Ochoa to Landgraf with no time left on the clock before halftime.

Although the Coyotes managed 14 points in the second half, both touchdowns off Jaramillo runs, the Wildcats were relentless. The hung around with a 21-yard field goal and a touchdown run.

The outcome puts both Gregory-Portland and Alice even in 30-5A North Zone with 2-1 records.