A roar of Barlow thunder helped turn the tide late in the first half in the Bruins' 28-13 home win over Grant on Friday night.
The Generals looked as though they may take the lead when QB Logan Going set up on the midfield logo and let fly with a shot to the end zone. The ball clipped the fingertips of Quinn Gerald at the goal line and fell incomplete.
That brought up a tricky fourth down.
Move the chains and gain another chance at a go-ahead score.
Come up short, and Barlow is left with a short field to put up points of its own.
General's coach John Beck kept his offense on the field, and the home crowd responded by stomping its feet and flooding the field with noise.
A Grant linemen flinched.
The false start penalty backed the ball up five yards and prompted Beck to change his mind and send out the punt team.
A short kick rolled dead at the 27-yard line. Still, Barlow's offense with a lot of green to travel in only 54 seconds.
"The plan was to just not panic," Barlow QB Jaren Hunter said. "We were moving the ball great, we just weren't getting touchdowns. We wanted to keep doing the same things, and we knew we would be able to march downfield."
It wasn't so much a march, as it was a sprint.
Hunter found Josh Nomie for a quick catch along the sideline, then kept the ball himself to pick up a first down and stop the clock while the chain crew caught up.
The threat looked to be in trouble when Hunter's deep ball to Jackson Kane was broken up along the sideline, but a pass interference flag gave Barlow 15 yards.
Next up, Hunter rolled to his left and found Nomie, who barreled through three defenders to get out of bounds at the 16-yard line with 0:03 on the clock.
Hunter's next pass went to the end zone where Kane popped wide open in the middle of the field for the touchdown and a 15-6 halftime lead.
"I saw the safety shaded to the left, which is how Jackson was able to get so open," Hunter said. "That TD was huge. It gave us a two-score lead and brought us a big momentum swing."
The Bruins would build the lead to 22-6 after Nomie found his way into the end zone from four yards out early in the fourth quarter.
Barlow improved to 4-1 in nonleague play, it's only loss coming against top-ranked Tigard. The Bruins open the Mount Hood Conference schedule in Sandy at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Bruins' punter Cyle Calcagno set up the team's first points of the night with a perfect pooch that Weston Radke downed inside the 1-yard line.
Grant tried a run through the middle, but their was nowhere to go. Barlow blue shirts Dawson Northrup, Andrew Collins and Nathan Amadio crashed the scene and brought down the ball carrier three yards deep in the end zone for a safety.
Barlow would drive inside Grant's 20-yard line twice early in the game, but was unable to come up with points either time.
That changed early in the second quarter when Reece McKenzie took a misdirection play around the corner for a first down, and Hunter fired a pass to Nomie over the middle only to see him absorb a big hit that knocked him down just shy of the goal line.
Barlow almost let this scoring opportunity slip away, too, with a fumbled snap at the 1-yard line. But Hunter gathered the ball among a crowd of cleats and followed his blockers over the left side for the game's first touchdown.
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BARLOW 2 13 0 13 — 28
BAR — Safety
BAR — Jaren Hunter 1 run (Abi Hoffman kick)
GRT — Luke Borchardt 22 pass from Logan Going (kick failed)
BAR — Jackson Kane 18 pass from Hunter (kick failed)
BAR — Josh Nomie 4 run (Hoffman kick)
GRT — Peter Zaharie 54 pass from Going (Marko Vlasko kick)
BAR — Andrew Collins 8 pass from Hunter (kick failed)
This story is slated for our Tuesday, Oct. 8, print edition.
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