Andre Becton breaks up a last-second pass to preserve Glencoe's harrowing 19-12 win

Andre Becton could have been the goat on Friday night. Instead, he got to play the hero.

After coming up empty while attempting to catch a fourth-quarter throw from Avery Elrod that would have put the game against Forest Grove on ice, the Glencoe senior batted down a potential game-tying pass in the end zone to preserve the Crimson Tide’s dramatic 19-12 homecoming victory at Hare HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Glencoe senior Kyle Campbell drags a Forest Grove defender for extra yardage during last Friday's 19-12 victory at Hare Field.

“Bottom line was our kids prevailed,” Glencoe coach Steve Jones said. “Andre dropped a pass that could have been a 70-yard touchdown pass, and he was kind of hanging his head. But when the chips were down, he had to strap it back on, go play corner and (to) make the play that he did was huge.”

Midway through league play, the victory was a significant one in terms of positioning. Glencoe upped its record to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Pacific Conference, putting the Tide in sole possession of second place behind unbeaten Tigard. Forest Grove dipped to 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the league.

“Our whole team came in confident and ready to kill and then take it to them,” Elrod said.

In a game that seemingly swung back and forth on several occasions, no sequence loomed larger than the last drive, which started when Chad Smith intercepted Elrod’s pass and returned the ball to the Vikings’ 38-yard line with 1:35 to play. Quarterback Taylor Jensen and the Forest Grove offense then pushed all the way to the Tide 5-yard line, where Jensen spiked the ball with one second remaining, preserving one last chance for the visitors to force overtime.

And on that final play, the Vikings got what they wanted: 6-foot-2 wideout Zac Collins isolated with Becton in the back left corner of the end zone.

But Becton was game. Both players jumped in the air and batted at Jensen’s toss. Collins almost came up with the catch on his second effort, but Becton got enough of a hand on it that the ball fell to the turf, allowing the Tide to escape with their third straight win and sending the Glencoe bench flooding the end zone in celebration.

“We had the height advantage,” said Jensen, who went 21-for-38 with 233 yards and two touchdowns. “Zac, he’ll catch 99 percent of those. That defender made a great play. Best football play of the night right there.”

Turning into Glencoe’s Mr. Dependable, Kainoa Hanchett, along with Becton, played a major role in the victory, accounting for 13 of the Tide’s 19 points and many of Glencoe’s 293 yards on the ground. Early on, Hanchett helped Glencoe seize the momentum when he opened the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run just 2 minutes, 24 seconds into the first quarter.

“I was just out there running the ball,” Hanchett said. “The line was blocking great, we were executing all our plays. It was a lot of fun.”

Not only does Hanchett chew up rushing yardage like a Rototiller, but he can damage opponents with his legs in more ways than one. Hanchett booted the first of his two field goals, a 26-yarder, with 3:57 remaining before halftime to stake Glencoe to a 10-0 lead.

But Forest Grove also got its offense going before the intermission. Starting on their own 20, the Vikings pushed back down the field, with Jensen eventually finding Collins in the back of the end zone with 1:15 remaining in the half, cutting the Tide advantage to 10-6.

The nip-and-tuck affair tightened even more after the break, when the Vikings picked up where they had left off. On the opening possession of the third quarter, Jensen capped a 95-yard drive with a 7-yard pass to Tony Matiaco that put Glencoe in a 12-10 hole.

The advantage was short-lived, however, as Hanchett hit another field goal, this time from 20 yards, late in the quarter to put the Tide back in front, 13-12.

Glencoe’s final points — and the final points of the game — came early in the fourth quarter. Forest Grove turned the ball over on downs at its own 42-yard line, and the Crimson Tide used five consecutive run plays to advance the ball to the 9.

A delay of game penalty on third down could have stalled the drive, but Elrod hit Kyle Campbell over the middle on third down and then found him again in the end zone from 8 yards out on a fourth-and-4 with 9:58 left.

That lifted the Tide to a 19-12 lead and ushered in a wild final stanza that included a weaving 30-yard touchdown run by the Vikings’ Cody Smith that was negated by a holding penalty, the potential game-cementing catch that bounced off of Becton’s hands, and the interception by Chad Smith to set up the final, decisive drive.

The Tide look to stretch their win streak to four games tonight, when they travel to Hillsboro Stadium to take on Century at 7 p.m.

In the meantime, they’ve had seven days to savor a special win.

“I guess I couldn’t be more proud,” Jones said. “It almost brings you to tears, because the kids never gave up on themselves.”

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