Andrew Funk scores in overtime to life Sandy to the 27-21 road win

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: AMANDA MILES - Sandy QB Spencer Barnett crashes over the goal line for the tying points on a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter Friday.Midway through the fourth quarter, the situation looked awfully grim for the Sandy football team.

Battling with Liberty in a turnover-filled contest, the Pioneers trailed 21-7 on the road and the Falcons were controlling the ball and marching toward the end zone once again.

But Sandy got the big plays it needed just in time, riding C.J. McKinnis and Spencer Barnett to tie the game at the end of regulation and getting a game-winning touchdown from Andrew Funk in overtime to cap a stunning 27-21 comeback victory and spoil Liberty’s senior night.

With the victory, Sandy moved to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the Northwest Oregon Conference, good for sole possession of second place. Liberty fell to 4-3 and 3-2 and sits tied with Parkrose and Wilsonville for third heading into this week’s games.

It was McKinnis who turned the tide for the Pioneers when he picked off backup Liberty quarterback Mike McBride deep in Pioneers territory and rumbled 84 yards the other way up the left sideline. Though Wyatt Edwards’ point after was blocked, Sandy had cut the lead to 21-13 with 6:00 remaining and had the momentum.

With three interceptions on the night, Barnett had been a bit shaky, but he came alive on the final drive in regulation, hitting Cody Welty for three pass completions to keep the possession going and then plunging into the end zone on a third-and-goal from three yards out with just 18.8 seconds remaining in regulation. The junior quarterback also motored in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 21-21 and force overtime.

In extra time, Liberty had the first possession, but the Sandy defense came up big, holding the Falcons to just four plays when Edwards picked McBride on fourth down. That meant any kind of score by the Pioneers on their offensive possession would seal the game. After being held to just 21 yards on 15 carries the rest of the contest, Funk came up with his biggest play of the night, dashing into the end zone from seven yards out to complete the comeback.

Barnett led the offense in both passing and rushing. He was 7-for-14 in the air for 94 yards, and he carried the ball 19 times for 50 yards. McKinnis added 32 rushing yards in 11 attempts and also accounted for Sandy’s first score of the night, a 9-yard run 1:45 into the second quarter that knotted the game at 7-7. Welty was the visitors’ top receiver, catching four balls for 65 yards.

Devin Kaneshiro notched first- and second- quarter rushing touchdowns for Liberty to stake the Falcons to a 14-7 advantage at the half, and Hunter Dehlin added a rushing score of his own midway through the third quarter to create Pioneers’ deficit.

Sandy – which hosts undefeated Sherwood on Friday – earned victory despite trailing Liberty in most offensive categories, including total offense (333 yards to 196), time of possession (30 minutes, 13 seconds, to 17:47) and first downs (21 to 11).

But the Pioneers won the statistic that matters most: the one on the scoreboard.

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