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Marshfield receiver Simon Slade secures the ball for a touchdown with 29 seconds left in the game to lift the Tigers to a 20-19 victory over D.C. Everest on Friday night at Heiting Community Stadium. With the victory, Marshfield clinched its third-straight VFA West Division title and a spot in the WIAA playoffs. (Photo by Paul Lecker/For Zaleski Sports))

By Paul Lecker For Zaleski Sports

MARSHFIELD – Things looked bleak for the Marshfield football team in its bid to win a third-straight Valley Football Association West Division championship.

The Tigers trailed throughout, didn’t muster much of an offense attack for most of the game, and were backed up at their own 10-yard line with 1:55 to go and trailing by five points against rival D.C. Everest.

Suddenly, Marshfield’s passing game took shape and it put together a winning scoring drive that will go down in the annals of Marshfield High School football history.

On the final drive, quarterback Joey Goettl completed 5 of 8 passes for 87 yards, including the last 9 to wide receiver Simon Slade on the right sideline in the end zone with 29 seconds left, to lift the Tigers to an improbable 20-19 victory over D.C. Everest on Friday night at Heiting Community Stadium.

Marshfield finishes its VFA schedule with a 5-3 record, guaranteeing a spot in the WIAA playoffs and its third West Division title in a row.

“Our team is so resilient, it’s crazy,” Joey Goettl said. “No one had their heads down. Everybody came back at the right time, everybody came together as a team, and it couldn’t have been better. It’s nice to know that we are in the playoffs now and we’re just going to take every game week by week and see what happens from there.”

Marshfield’s defense stopped the Evergreens near midfield to force a punt with 5:09 to go, trailing 19-14.

The Tigers had a holding penalty set them back and were forced to punt with 2:56 remaining.

Again, the Tigers’ defense stepped up, forcing a three-and-out, and getting the ball back to the offense for one final chance at a game-winning drive.

Goettl and the offense took over at the 10 with 1:55 to go. He hit Wyatt LeMoine for completions of 32 and 5 yards to reach the Everest 48, then connected with Sam Hinson for 17 yards to push it to the 31.

After losing 2 yards on a running play, Goettl threw a ball up in the middle of the field that seemed like a Hail Mary, but it was a streaking LeMoine that the senior quarterback saw and it resulted in a 24-yard gain to give Marshfield a first down at the 9-yard line with 39 seconds left.

“He (LeMoine) was going left and I saw him beat his guy,” Joey Goettl said. “I just threw it and hoped to have him make a play. I’m so glad it happened.”

After a pair of incompletions, Goettl hit Slade on a fade in the end zone with 29 seconds left for the winning score. Goettl then sealed it with an interception on defense on the final play of the game.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Joey Goettl said of the winning touchdown. “I’m so glad it did. We just had the right mindset and we weren’t going to lose that game.”

D.C. Everest quarterback Ethan Ostrowski had an 85-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter to give the Evergreens a 7-0 lead.

That score held until the Evergreens earned a safety when Goettl was called for intentional grounding in the end zone with 3:52 to go in t