Spartan senior running back Jake Short scored two touchdowns and grabbed a crucial interception with two minutes to play to secure a 20-14 victory over Henry Sibley in the Section 5AAAAA playoffs Tuesday night.
Short scored both touchdowns in the first quarter and the teams remained locked in a 14-7 battle until early in the third quarter when Sibley junior Stas VandenBosch-Romo scored with three minutes gone to tie the game at 14 apiece.
Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, the Warriors intercepted a Nick Wanzek pass at the Simley 34-yard line. A Sibley score seemed imminent until Wanzek—playing safety on defense—recovered a VandenBosch-Romo fumble on the following play.
The teams traded possession until 10:08 in the fourth quarter when Spartan running back Hector Rabelo punched in a touchdown from two yards out.
A botched snap on the extra point kept the Spartan advantage to 20-14.
Sibley quarterback Jackson Eskierka connected with senior reciever Noah Nelson on a 35-yard completion two plays after the kickoff.
The Warriors drove the ball all the way to the Sibley six-yard line until another fumble dashed a promising scoring opportunity.
After possessing the ball for a big chunk of the fourth quarter, Simley failed to convert on a fourth down and turned the ball over with just over two minutes to go.
Short intercepted an Eskierka pass with 1:59 to play and the Spartans ran out the clock to secure the victory.
The Spartans move on to play at top-seeded St. Thomas Academy on Saturday at 3 p.m.
A photo gallery from the game will be available online on Wednesday.