By Robert Mytych
Belleville High School Quarterback Bryce Underwood showcased himself showing just why he’s one of the best high school quarterbacks in the state. Some would arguably say in the country.
For the final minutes on a cold and blustery field last Friday evening at Novi High School, Underwood was the game’s superhero first leading his offense to overtime with a 4-yard touchdown rush in the final minutes of regulation, before proceeding to win it all on Belleville’s OT possession with back-to-back runaround plays to the corner endzone.
It was there where the Tigers converted the two-point conversion and won the game, 29-28. The victory sends them to the state finals for the second year in a row.
Cass Tech won the toss in overtime and successfully converted their score so Belleville had to do the same and it took four downs to do it. However, instead of kicking the extra point that would tie the game at 28, the Tigers went for it all in the 2-point conversion as Underwood took the snap and rolled out on a near identical play, dashing to the same corner and scoring to seal the victory.
The Tigers face Caledonia in the Division 1 title game this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ford Field. It can be watched on Bally Sports Detroit.
The victory improved Belleville’s record to 13-0, but it wasn’t easy. Belleville did strike first on its first possession to open the game with a Colbey Reed 48-yard touchdown rush to lead 7-0 for the only scoring in the first quarter.
In the second, Belleville’s Kevin Simes capped off a 97-yard drive with a touchdown to increase the lead to 14-0 with ten minutes remaining in the first half. Then the Cass Technicians went to work responding with three unanswered touchdowns, the last one a pick six run back to give them a 21-14 lead at the half.
There was no scoring in the third quarter but in the fourth the Tigers stopped Cass Tech on a fourth and one with 3:01 remaining in regulation. Belleville took over on the Cass Tech 39-yard line and made their way closer to the end zone before Underwood rushed in for the score from 4 yards out to cut the deficit to 21-20. Belleville converted the point after and the score was tied 21-21.
Finally. Cass Tech had a handful of chances to win the game in regulation with a first-in-goal series of plays that were all stopped by the Tiger defense, which included a field goal try on fourth down that would have won the game as time expired.
Overtime in high school football works this way. Both teams get a four-down series of plays to reach the endzone. The start of overtime saw the Technicians scoring on a second down touchdown pass before the Tigers responded with their series of plays that eventually won the game with the Underwood touchdown and successful two-point play.
Underwood finished the game 8 of 14 passes for 128 yards, 1 touchdown, and two interceptions
By Robert Mytych