STAR CITY – Monticello stopped previously unbeaten Star City on a two-point conversion try with 5:19 remaining and then ran out the clock to take a dramatic 28-27 win in the teams’ 8-4A Conference opener.
The contest rocked back and forth as Star City’s Bulldogs (0-1, 3-1) twice fought back from deficits to take leads. The game was also tied at 14-14 and 21-21.
Beau Rush scored the winning touchdown for Monticello (1-0, 2-2) on a 34-yard run with 8:11 left to play. Cole Connelley’s fourth point-after kick put the Redbugs up by 28-21.
Star City retaliated quickly with with a 39-yard scoring pass for its last points, setting up Monticello’s decisive conversion stop and final possession.
The Billies scored first when Connelley, who topped Monticello’s rushing charts with 107 yards on 20 carries, hit paydirt on a 29-yard run. As the first quarter neared its close, Star City pulled to within 7-6 with a 32-yard TD pass.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 14-7 lead early in the second period with a 22-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion. but Monticello soon knotted the score with a 6-yard touchdown run by Zach Berryman. Star City rallied to take its final lead at 21-14 with a 35-yard scoring pass with 2:19 left before halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Monticello made it 21-21 with Imani Riley’s 9-yard scoring run.
Monticello visits Hamburg next week.