#50YARDCOUNTDOWN: 5-Austin Finds Goodman to Force Overtime
It was a long shot, but it was possible.
DISTANCE: 5 yards
PLAYERS: Shane Austin and Dominick Goodman
DATE: July 12, 2014 vs. San Antonio Talons
FINAL SCORE: Gladiators 50, Talons 47
This was an unexpected reality.
In Week 18 of the 2014 season, the 14-1 Cleveland Gladiators were shocked to see an underachieving San Antonio Talons team winning in the final minute by executing a solid gameplan. For all four quarters, the Talons protected the ball, ran the clock and took advantage of scoring opportunities. With 38 seconds in the game, they held a 47-39 lead over the Gladiators.
Cleveland quarterback Shane Austin drove the offense 31 yards in four plays to put the Glads on the Talons 5-yard line. They needed a touchdown and a two-point conversion to force overtime, and this was the last play of the game.
Austin motioned Thyron Lewis to put three wide receivers on the wide side of the field. At the snap of the ball, Lewis and Collin Taylor crossed to the opposite side of the field in the end zone, leaving a one-on-one matchup with Dominick Goodman and a lone defender. Goodman ran a stop route, sprinting as hard as he could two yards deep into the end zone and stopping to turn around. Austin fired the ball to the outside shoulder, low and away from the defender, rendering him defenseless. Goodman's sticky hands caught the ball in the numbers as he dove to use his body as a backstop. This cut the lead to 47-45 with no time on the clock.
On the two-point conversion, the Talons played zone to cover the front of the end zone, and Austin found Lewis behind it on the sail route to force overtime, where Gladiators defensive back Joe Phinisee intercepted an errant pass on the Talons opening drive to set up Aaron Pettrey's game-winning field goal. Cleveland triumphed 50-47 to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.