OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Hastings quarterback Brandon McCarthy rushed for 182 yards and passed for 296 more to lead Hastings to a stunning 35-34 overtime victory over Stillwater in Friday’s Suburban East Conference football game at Pony Stadium. McCarthy rallied the Raiders (2-2 SEC, 2-2) from a 28-0 deficit in the second half to snap an eight-game losing streak against the Ponies (3-1, 3-1), who suffered their first loss of the season just one week after a jubilant nationally televised victory over Cretin-Derham Hall.
Starting from their own 1-yard line while trailing 28-20 with three minutes remaining in regulation, the Raiders marched 99 yards in 17 plays — capped by 5-yard touchdown pass from McCarthy to Zach Wiese with just three seconds remaining. Mike Junker ran in the two-point conversion to send the game into overtime.
Zach Knox, who finished with 250 yards rushing on 36 carries, scored from six yards out on Stillwater’s second play of its overtime possession for a 34-28 lead, but he was then stopped on the two-point conversion attempt.
After McCarthy’s third rushing touchdown — to go along with two passing scores — on third down for the Raiders, Jonah Harrington booted the extra-point kick to provide the difference.
The loss — combined with Mounds View’s 20-7 loss against Cretin-Derham Hall, leaves East Ridge alone atop the conference standings. The Ponies, however, still control their conference fate with games remaining against Mounds View (3-1, 3-1) and East Ridge (4-0, 4-0). Roseville also joins the Ponies and Mustangs with a 3-1 conference record.
Check out the Stillwater Gazette and stillwatergazette.com for the complete story next week.