VELVA - With his team trailing by one point, Bishop Ryan High School sophomore quarterback Tanner Sanders stood under center with 2:38 remaining in the Lions' non-conference game against Velva.
Sanders, in his first varsity game, had misfired on 11 of his 17 passes to that point and faced an Aggies defense that knew a pass was coming.
In one play, Sanders reversed his fortunes, hitting junior Brody Bosch about 30 yards downfield in stride. Bosch kept running and found the end zone for what proved to be the deciding score in a 24-19 win Friday.
Bishop Ryan junior tailback Brody Bosch stiff-arms Velva junior Michael Thingstad in the first half of the Lions 24-19 win Friday in Velva.
"It feels great now," Sanders said. "I was getting frustrated. (Bosch) goes out over the seam and I throw it to him. Touchdown."
Ryan took an 18-6 lead in the second quarter when senior defensive lineman Isaac Tafelmeyer stripped Aggies senior running back Taylor Barstad and took the ball 35 yards to the end zone. It was Tafelmeyer's second touchdown in the past two seasons, both against Velva.
"I saw it happen and I go 'Dj vu,' " Ryan coach Brad Borkhuis said. "It was absolutely crazy."
Lions senior running back Chase Fugere gained 66 yards on 16 carries, but had a couple of long scores called back to holding penalties. In the second quarter, Fugere escaped for a 67-yard touchdown that didn't count.
On the opening kickoff in the second half, he went 82 yards. Again, all for naught.
"That's one of those things that you have to overcome," Borkhuis said. "When a kid sees that we just scored a big touchdown and all of a sudden it comes back, that's something that kids have to mature and respond to and they did a great job of it."
Bosch had three receptions for 100 yards. Sanders completed seven of his 18 passes for 168 yards and the touchdown.
Velva's Taylor Bartstad caught a touchdown pass and ran for another. He had 121 yards on 26 carries.
But when Velva got the ball with 3:49 left and a chance to ice the game, the Lions defense held strong, forcing a three-and-out.
"They made the plays they needed to and we didn't," Velva coach Larry Sandy said.
Play was delayed for 30 minutes toward the middle of the second quarter due to lightning.