In Foundation Academy’s inaugural game on Lions Field, a last-second touchdown pass from Henry Austad to Danny Stutsman propelled the Lions (2-0) to a thrilling 20-13 win over the Kingdom Prep Royals (0-2).
“Stutsman made a huge catch on that last pass from Henry Austad,” Foundation Academy head coach Brad Lord said. "We were going to kick if we didn’t score there. (The plan was to) throw a fade into the end zone — that was safe — and if not kick the field goal.”
Austad led his team down to the Royals' 15-yard line with eight seconds left in regulation, where he connected with Stutsman, who made a diving catch with three seconds remaining in the game. The dramatic play capped what had otherwise been a low-scoring, turnover-filled affair in the debut of the program's new on-campus stadium.
“We played sloppy tonight,” Lord said. “First half (we were) real lethargic. I think a lot of the festivities that went on today took some energy out of the guys, but they put it together in the fourth quarter — did it when they had to.”
Down 7-6 late in the third quarter, the Lions pulled ahead 13-7 on a long touchdown pass from Austad to Grayson Wagner with 19 seconds left in the quarter. On the game, Wagner had seven catches for 195 yards.
Later, in the fourth quarter, the Royals were driving deep into Lions territory. Foundation Academy was able to force a fumble, though, and Chai Colon recovered it with 5:25 left in the game.
Just 30 seconds later, the Lions gave the ball right back to Kingdom Prep on an interception that was ran back for a touchdown. Kingdom Prep did not take the lead, though, as Foundation Academy blocked the extra-point attempt.
The win for the Lions improved their record to 2-0, and came in spite of the team's four turnovers on the night.
“To win a game when you turn the ball over four times is a miracle,” Lord said. “So, that shows resiliency, but we can’t fumble like that. They’ll be going through some serious fumble drills on Monday.”
Foundation Academy’s defense had a huge day, also, as it allowed just one touchdown and forced two pivotal turnovers while also getting multiple stops on fourth down.
“We got tougher as the game moved on,” Lord said. “We gritted it out. We made a lot of mistakes, but we gritted it out and we’ll get better.”
Foundation Academy hosts Bradenton Christian next Friday.