In the sports world everyone loves to hear about a comeback, the miracle play, a team going against all of the odds and getting the win. We have all heard about the Red Sox coming back against the Yankees in 2004 to win the ALCS, and the Steelers and Giants Super Bowl winning drives. Here are a few comebacks you probably never heard about.
Capital High School v. Billings West High School
After a first half that saw Capital chasing the West offense up and down the field, Capital came out guns blazing in the second half. Starting with a 15 yard pass from Matt Reyant to Matt Miller, Capital dropped the lead to 14. Capital tacked on another touchdown with a 15 yard run by Matt Miller giving Capital hope. As time expired in the 4th quarter quarterback Matt Reyant found receiver Josh Dirks in the corner of the end zone. 20-21. Capital coach Pat Murphy has been known for being ambitious which he showed by going for 2 instead of kicking the PAT. Reyant takes the snap, fakes the give to Matt Miller, and takes off. The outcome? It’s good! Capital got the win and kept the perfect season alive with a 22-21 final score.
Watford v. Leicester
What’s on the line? The winner goes to the FA Cup final at the Wembley Stadium. It was the 96th minute with only 4 minutes supposed to be added on but a penalty kick for Leicester kept the clock rolling. Leicester was losing 2-1 but because they won the first game 1-0 AND had the away goal rule on their side, (The away goals rule is a method of breaking ties in soccer and other sports when teams play each other twice, once at each team’s home ground. By the away goals rule, the team that has scored more goals “away from home” will win if scores are otherwise equal), they would advance whether they made or missed the penalty. Anthony Knockaert steps up and takes the shot…save by the keeper Almunia! The rebound shot…SAVE BY ALMUNIA! With a stadium erupting from the outcome of the penalty Watford started their counter. Watford pushed the ball down the right side of the field. A cross comes into the box, the ball is headed back into the middle where it meets the foot of Watford striker Troy Deeney. The result? Absolutely pandemonium. The ball is smashed into the back of the net and fans storm field, Watford players and coaches celebrating their monumental comeback, and Leicester wondering how they let the opportunity to play in the FA Cup final in Wembley slip through their hands.
Montana Grizzlies v. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
An absolutely awful, and I mean AWFUL, first half almost lead to an early exit by the Griz faithful. I was there and I considered calling it a day with how bad it was. Down 27 points with 5:40 left in the 3rd quarter things started clicking for the Griz as Marc Mariani took a kickoff back 98 yards started a comeback for the ages. 48-27, the Griz start the 4th quarter with a 15 yard pass from Andrew Selle to Mariani, the score now 48-34. 7 minutes left, Chase Reynolds looks for a hole up the middle but is forced outside where he scrambles to the corner for a Montana touchdown. A miracle looks possible now with the score 48-41. Only 3 minutes later Reynolds runs it in from 4 yards, which along with an extra point TIES the score 48-48. With only a minute left, quarterback Andrew Selle fakes the handoff to Reynolds, rolls out to the left and finds a wide open Mariani for a Montana touchdown. The Griz down by 27 at one point now LEADS 55-48, but that isn’t the end of the story. SDSU had one more drive….which was shut down by an interception by Griz lineman Severin Campbell who turned that into 6 points. The final score: Montana Grizzlies 61 South Dakota State Jackrabbits 48.
Clinton LumberKings v. Burlington Bees
When you think of a baseball comeback you probably think about 5, 6, maybe 7 runs. Well the Clinton LumberKings made a 16 run miracle. 16 RUNS!!! Top of the 6th inning, Clinton down 17-1 are able to find 6 runs to at least make a probable loss look a little less worse. With the help of some quality pitching and 5 runs in both the 8th and 9th innings, Clinton was able to send a game that should have been over, into extra innings. After a scoreless 10th and 11th inning for both teams, Kyle Seager of the LumberKings was able to get the go ahead run in the top of the 12th. Shutting out Burlington in the 12th gave Clinton a 20-17 win. “That’s one for the ages for me, for sure,” Burlington manager Bill Richardson said, according to The Hawk Eye newspaper. “You just give credit to your opponent for flipping the game on us. We just gave them a little life in that sixth, and they kept running.”
Duke Blue Devils v. Maryland Terrapins
The Miracle Minute. A comeback that most Duke fans consider the famous minute in Duke history. Maryland leading 90-80, Duke guard Jason Williams finished a layup to shave the lead to 8. Maryland inbounded the ball which was then stolen by Williams who put up a 3 pointer to trim Maryland’s lead to 5 with 48 seconds left. Duke foul Maryland on the inbound who were in double bonus. Drew Nicholas of Maryland misses the first free throw…and then the second. Duke takes the ball down the court where Williams sinks another 3 leaving 40 seconds on the clock. In a matter of 20 seconds Duke cut Maryland’s lead from 10 to 2. Maryland inbound the ball, Duke put on the trap and strip the ball away giving them 34 seconds on the clock, the ball, and a shot at the win. Duke put up a 3, no good, but they get the rebound and are fouled on the put back. With 21 seconds, Nate James steps up to the line for 2 shots. The first….good. The second….GOOD. The game was sent into overtime where Duke would prevail 98-96. Leave it to Coach K to pull off the impossible.
Miracles are the best part of sports. We love seeing a team make the seemingly impossible comeback by giving everything they have to get the win.
“It’s not whether you got knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi
Written by Zachary Clinch