The Air Force would have been impressed with the fourth-quarter air attack put on display by Wentworth and Haskell junior colleges at Haskell Stadium on Saturday night.
The teams combined for 34 fourth-quarter points on four touchdown passes the longest coming on a 78-yard connection and an interception return in a shootout won by Haskell. The Indians hung on for a 40-36 victory.
"I've got to hand it to Wentworth," Haskell coach Gary Tanner said. "They could have quit when we had them down 20-6, but they kept coming and coming. Going into the fourth I never thought we would have to score 40 points to beat them."
The Indians took a 26-14 lead into the fourth quarter, but Wentworth closed the gap to six when Brian Quinn hit Mark Schneider for 29-yard touchdown pass.
BUT ON FIRST and 10 after the ensuing kick off, Haskell quarterback Tim Leatherman hit Jamie Moore for a 58-yard touchdown pass.
"We were going for the big one," Tanner said. "It was set up to be a touchdown."
Wentworth did not quit however, and with about eight minutes to play in the game, Quinn connected with Schneider again for a nine-yard touchdown pass to make it a 33-28 game.
The Dragons forced Haskell to punt on its next possession, but Mike Mason returned an interception 35 yards on the next series to give Haskell the lead for good.
Wentworth kept the game exciting and closed the gap to four when Quinn and Schneider hooked up again for a 80-yard touchdown pass with 4:43 left to play. Haskell ran the clock down to 27 seconds on its next possession before punting to Wentworth. The Dragons completed two passes but the clock ran out before they could get a third play off.
"We both had a balanced attack," Tanner said. "We couldn't go into a prevent defense because we still had to respect their running game."
McGee led the Indians with 103 yards on 26 carries and 82 yards receiving. Leatherman passed for 313 yards on 14 of 27 completions.
The Dragons edged Haskell in total yards 484 to 449.
"Our kids just rose every time they had to and that's something I'm glad to see in our team," Tanner said. "Our kids meet the challenge.
Tanner said team leadership was also a factor.
"We have some sophomores who want to win and tonight their number was called," he said. "We've got a bunch of winners and they showed it."
Haskell ends its season on the road Saturday against Independence Junior College.