OAKLAND — Tri-County's 33-29 loss to Argenta-Oreana on Sept. 27 helped the Titans in Friday's thrilling 34-33 win over Cumberland in a Lincoln Prairie Conference game. It was the first time since a 17-0 win in 2014 that the Titans beat the Pirates.
The Titans came back twice from two touchdown deficits in the game against A-O, and Friday Tri-County scored the final 14 points in the last 10:05 of the game played on Oakland's Homecoming. Foreign exchange student Filippo Bosio, from Italy, who attends Kansas, made the game-wining extra point. Bosio was 4-for-5 in the game.
"Argenta-Oreana was such an eye-opener," said Tri-County's Lane Bisby, a senior, who finished with a team-tying 8.5 tackles and had 16 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. "Hanging with one of he best teams in the state really boosted our morale. If we had just a couple more inches we would have won. Sometimes it has to be a learning aspect."
Cumberland led 33-20 after Wyatt Brant, who was injured with 3:42 left in the game and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, scored on a 23-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. That came after Blayne Donsbach, who led all ball carrier's with 15 carries for 89 yards and three touchdowns, returned the punt 27 yards. Kade Warner booted the extra point for the 13-point lead.
"I kind of brought the defense over because we were looking dead in the water," said Tri-County coach Brian Anderson. "There was maybe even a little bit of doubt creeping into me as far as whether or not we were going to be able to do this again. I told them we can go one or two ways. We can give in, which it looks like we are starting to do, or we can fight back like we did against Argenta."
After to pulling to within six, Tri-County began its game-winning drive with a 14-yard pass from Mitch Pollock to Dameon Bolton. After two more first downs, the Titans faced a fourth-and-two from the Cumberland 33 with 2:30
"It was just an outside zone and I just had to get where I had a different perspective," said Bisby, who gained 10 yards on the run. "I had to keep my feet turning and get what I needed to get and get right back in the huddle ready for the next one."
Pollock, who was 7-of-16 for 113 yards and three touchdowns (21, 12 and 18), tied the game with an 8-yard TD run set up by a Cumberland personal foul. Bosio added the extra point, which hit the right upright and bounced through.
"I have played soccer since I was six," said Bosio. "Soccer and football are different, but (you) kick it the same way. My mind has to be clear before I kick. I watched the ball and just prayed. I was very emotional when it went through. I have never won a game in the last minute before and it was a very important game."
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It wasn't Bosio's only game-winner — he made a game-winning goal in soccer last December in Italy.
"It wasn't in the last minute, though," said Bosio. "There was about 30 minutes left."
Anderson said of Bosio, "He is having a ball over here. He is going to tell his buddies in a few months and they are not going to believe what happened. He is going to have to have video of it. It was a special moment. I didn't know if it would go in or not after it hit the upright."
Bisby, who is in his ninth year of playing football, was a lineman until former Tri-County coach Casey Pinnell — now at Robinson — switched him to running back.
"I thought it was the craziest thing ever, but I was going to roll with it and here I am now," said Bisby. "It is amazing. It felt great to beat them. We hadn't beaten them before in my high school career. I always had that dream of running the ball and getting a little extra bit of glory."
Anderson said of Bisby, "He is the toughest kid on the team and most physical kid on the team. Everybody looks up to him. He is a leader. There is no doubt about it. I like our leadership right now with Bisby, (Brandon) Royer, Pollock and Drew Bevill. They are four good kids that play hard and have been in the program for four years. I am really proud of hem and happy they got to experience a night like tonight."
Cumberland, which fell to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the LPC, outgained Tri-County 289-244, but had 93 yards in penalties.
"We needed a win like that," said Anderson, whose team improved to 3-3 overall and 3-1 in the LPC. "It was such a heartbreaking moment (the loss to A-O) that we needed something good like tonight. I am just so happy for our guys."