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In a game that came down to the final seconds, it was Southwest whole stole the thunder at the end.
Southwest scored a touchdown as the final buzzer sounded, handing Iron Sharpens Iron a heartbreaking defeat in 21-14 fashion on Saturday and giving the Northern California based ISI team a 3-2 record to conclude the regular season of the Winner Circle Athletics Champions League.
Southwest immediately opened the scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass on the opening possession, but ISI would not fold after that and came back later with scoring strikes of its own to match every single Southwest score.
Grant senior quarterback Peni Kaufuisi found Yuba City senior receiver Antonio Henry down the sideline, who weaved his way past a defender for a remarkable 76-yard touchdown catch, knotting the score at 7-7 in the second quarter, and ISI kept the score tied at halftime following a red zone stop late in the half.
But an interception gave Southwest life in the third quarter, capitalizing on the pick in ISI territory to later score in the third quarter and take a 14-7 lead.
That would only be the beginning of the madness, though.
Iron Sharpens Iron drove the length of the field in the final minutes of regulation. A defensive pass interference brought ISI deeper into Southwest territory. Then Kimball senior Alonzo Jackson had a 20-yard run.
Despite a holding call on what would have been a 20-yard run from Lincoln-Stockton junior Jonah Coleman all the way to the goal line, ISI responded accordingly on one of the highlight-reel plays of the afternoon, as Cosumnes Oaks senior quarterback Anthony Grigsby – who boasts offers from Black Hills State, Eastern New Mexico, Idaho, Missouri State and Southwest Minnesota State – found Coleman in the left corner of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown with just over a minute left to tie it at 14-14.
However, it was Southwest who got the final say.
A couple of big plays brought Southwest all the way inside the Iron Sharpens Iron 5-yard line with just two seconds left on the clock, and a touchdown pass right at the pylon gave Southwest the 21-14 win and handed ISI another heartbreaking loss – it suffered a 15-7 overtime defeat just two weeks earlier, as its two losses have come by a combined 15 points.
Kauifusi led Iron Sharpens Iron’s offense, with his 76-yard touchdown pass being part of a 5-for-6 day through the air for 114 yards. His top target, Henry, registered 89 yards on three catches.
Jackson finished with 32 yards on five carries, recording his second performance of 30-plus yards in the last three games.
Coleman – recently bringing in another Power Five offer from Arizona – added 26 yards offensively.
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Passing: Peni Kauifusi – 5-for-6, 114 yards, TD. Anthony Grigsby Jr. – 1-for-3, 18 yards, TD.
Rushing: Alonzo Jackson – 5 carries, 32 yards. Jonah Coleman – 4 carries, 8 yards. Anthony Grigsby Jr. – 1 carry, 4 yards.
Receiving: Antonio Henry: 3 catches, 89 yards, TD. Jonah Coleman – 1 catch, 18 yards, TD. Jayden Davis – 1 catch, 15 yards. Markel Taylor – 1 catch, 10 yards.
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