Down by five, 19 seconds to go and 46 yards from the end zone. Drew Barksdale knew Darian Hicks was getting the ball.
Barksdale connected with Hicks on a 46 yard touchdown pass to lead the Comets to a furious comeback win, 24-21, over Shaker Heights.
"I told Drew: 'Just look for me on the post, because their DB cannot cover me,'" Hicks said after the win.
The Comets were down 21-10 with 2:36 left in the game, after Shaker Quarterback Jimmie Pope completed a 69 yard touchdown pass to Nolan Jackson-Daniel to give the team an 11-point lead.
But then running back and kick returner Khoury Crenshaw returned the kickoff for 62 yards into Shaker territory. Barksdale then went to work, connecting to Hicks for 38 yards.
The Comets attempted an onside kick, which failed, but the defense was able to stop the Red Raiders on four straight plays. The Comets got the ball back on their own 17 yard line with 54 seconds left in the game.
Then 35 seconds later, Barksdale threw it to Hicks for the win.
"It's one of our deep pass plays," Barksdale said of the play. "I have a lot of faith in my receiver Darian Hicks, , fastest kid on the team, and I knew if I put the ball to him he was going to catch it and make a big play."
Big plays kept Shaker in the game. Defenesive back Trey Johnson returned a Solon interception for a touchdown, and besides the 69 yard pass, Pope also connected with receiver Mel Leach for a 82 yard touchdown pass.
Hicks finished with six catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Barksdale finished 11 for 22 through the air for 207 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions. Barksdale also added 56 rush yards.
Besides the two touchdowns to Hicks, Barksdale also threw a 27 yard touchdown pass to Crenshaw.
Solon Coach Jim McQuaide said he was impressed with Shaker Heights, which forced Solon into a number of turnovers and was generally stout on defense through much of the game.
It came down to Solon's star players putting the team on their backs.
"Your good guys have to make plays when the heat's on, and that's what happened tonight," McQuaide said.
Barksdale said the team has lots to learn from the game, both the good and the bad.
"We didn't play that well. We've got to learn we have to play all four quarters. We had some ups and downs, but we were able to get over the hump and finish the game," he said.
BOX SCORE1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL Shaker Heights 0 0 7 14 21 Solon 3 7 0 14 24