The play was a read option, and Arlington Lamar quarterback Shane Buechele was in his first game since an Oct. 18 foot injury sidelined him for nearly a month.
So with less than four minutes left, and the game tied at 29-29, Buechele got the call again, this time finding a hole around the right side of the Northwest defense. He was hit after about five yards, nearly falling over, before somehow forcing his momentum back up.
He was heading for the endzone.
Buechele’s 14-yard rushing touchdown with 3:19 left in the game propelled Lamar to a 36-29 win Friday night over Northwest in the Class 5A Division II bi-district round at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex in North Richland Hills.
“I was pretty close [to getting tackled]. I was kind of scared,” Buechele said. “I wanted to get in so bad.”
Lamar (9-2) meets Abilene Cooper (7-4) in the area round, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Abilene’s Shotwell Stadium.
Buechele, a sophomore, returned Friday night after missing Lamar’s final three games of the regular season.
Coach Trent Fuller made the decision on Friday morning to start Buechele against Northwest. It was Buechele’s ability to run that pushed him into the starting role against the Texans (8-3), Fuller said.
“He’s a special kid. He’s a tough kid,” Fuller said. “He was a little rusty in some spots, but he does make plays and he made some big plays there at the end.”
Buechele, who finished 19-of-25 passing for 218 yards and three touchdowns, said he wasn’t bothered by his foot.
“I couldn’t feel it — adrenaline. That was the big thing,” he said.
Buechele’s 9-yard pass to Landry Bray and subsequent two-point conversion pass to Alex Baird tied the game with 4:41 left.
Senior Marquise McClinton recovered a Northwest fumble on the next kickoff, leading to Buechele’s winning score.