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OSAA Football playoffs: Grant 27, Central Catholic 24 Sunday, November 25, 2007

Grant kicker Gabe Miller howls on the sideline after making a 33-yard field goal to win the game as time expired, 27-24, over Central Catholic Nov. 23 at PGE Park in Portland. With the win, Grant advances to the 6A semifinals against Sheldon.

Friday night's 6A quarterfinal between Grant and Central Catholic was probably the most amazing comeback I have ever seen in person.

Grant was the favorite going into the match, but after the Generals scored a field goal on their first possession, they were looking more like privates. Nothing was working: not their passing game, nor their running game, nor their defense.

And, as Central Catholic scored their third touchdown to go up 24-3 with just 2:02 left in the third quarter, we photographers were just wishing they'd get it over with so we could get out of the cold. It looked like the Generals were starting to feel that way, too.

(right) A Grant assistant coach gives Paul McCoy a pep talk after Central Catholic made the score 24-3 with 2:02 left in the third quarter. "Keep the faith," he said.

But it the PIL champions weren't finished yet. They put one in the end zone before the quarter was finished, and added two more to tie the score with 3:17 left in the final period.

Then, on the Rams' next possession, Paul McCoy picked off a long pass to put the ball back in blue hands. They marched down to about the 20-yard line as the clock ticked to :05. At that point, it was all up to kicker Gabe Miller.

His shot was true, time expired, and the Generals won their toughest game of the year.

Next week they play Sheldon, who upset undefeated Lake Oswego with a blocked PAT attempt in overtime in another quarterfinal match on Friday.

(left) Grant's Bryan Butcher gives a Central Catholic defender the stiff arm as he returns an interception in the third quarter. (below) Grant's Kenneth Acker strips the ball from Central Catholic's Demetrius Guice in the third quarter. The Generals recovered the ball, but officials ruled that Guice was down before the fumble. The Rams scored a touchdown on the second play after the missed call.