The Veritas Christian football squad fell victim to the 45-point mercy rule at home on Friday night against St. Mary's Academy.
Or did it?
As the scoreboard showed 66-20 with 54 seconds remaining in the game, the officials called for the mercy rule. An hour after the conclusion, the Eagles realized the score was actually 60-20, with no idea where the extra six points came from.
"I guess we still have a game to finish," Veritas coach Doug Bennett quipped.
Veritas was pretty much in risk of the mercy rule from the beginning, however.
The Crusaders ran through the Eagles in the first quarter to jump to a 22-0 start after their first three possessions, racking up 237 yards of offense in the first half.
"Every time we win, we control the line of scrimmage, and every time we've lost, we get dominated on the line of scrimmage, and we were dominated on the line tonight," Bennett said. "My backs were running hard, but when there's linemen in the backfield, you can't get started and you're not finding any alleys. ... Then, when your safety has more tackles than your linebackers, you know you're getting dominated up front defensively."
In the second quarter, VCS slowed SMA until, with 30 seconds remaining in the half, St. Mary's scored on a three-play drive that started on its own 17-yard line.
"Our guys just never give up, and they just fought," said Bennett, whose squad picked up 26 yards of offense and just one first down in the first half. "For the most part, we made them earn that win. But that touchdown at the end of the first half shouldn't have happened."
The Eagles were able to prevent a shutout three minutes into the final quarter when senior Michael Kay found senior Isaiah Dover wide-open down the middle of the field for a 41-yard touchdown.
"They weren't looking for the pass, and I was just able to get past them," Dover said.
The Crusaders turned right around and scored on a four-play, 52-yard drive, which the Eagles combatted with a five-play, 50-yard touchdown drive capped by a 24-yard touchdown run by Kay.
Again, St. Mary's put up eight points on its next possession, but this time Veritas' offense didn't respond.
That's because it wasn't given the opportunity since junior Jerimiah Johnson took the ensuing kickoff back for a 70-yard touchdown return.
"I actually kept up my run this time," Johnson said. "I just saw that opening and jumped outside, and it was all open."
The Eagles will travel to face Heartland (Belton, Mo.) Friday to finish out their regular-season schedule.