Heating up a chilly San Luis Valley October night, Bayfield and Alamosa kept fans guessing until the very end of last Friday's 2A Western Slope-South Conference collision.
With their postseason fate potentially at stake, the visiting Wolverines' coaching staff guessed last and guessed best as whom to send out. After Mean Moose quarterback Marco Garcia's 27-yard touchdown to Ryan Brubacher brought AHS back to 27-22 with 22 seconds remaining.
The Alamosa touchdown came a minute after BHS senior Colter McMenimen had scampered 36 yards for a crippling touchdown. The BHS two-point conversion attempt failed, and Alamosa had time to try an onside kick and hope for a miracle.
It didn't happen, and the Wolverines celebrated a five-point road win.
With the BHS offensive line regularly moving the hosts' defenders backwards, junior Brody McGhehey added to McMenimen's first-half touchdown carry with a 29-yard go-ahead of his own for Bayfield (4-4, 2-2 WSC-South) with 4:29 left in the third quarter.
Reported stats showed McMenimen gaining 134 yards on just 11 carries. Junior Zane Phelps amassed another 90 on as many, and McGhehey 53 on just five as the Wolverines racked up over 280 yards (at nearly 8.5 per pop) on AHS' fast surface. The Moose managed 148 yards, including a three-yard touchdown with 11:10 left in the fourth that put Alamosa ahead 16-14.
But McMenimen returned the kickoff all the way to Alamosa's 37, and junior quarterack Kelton McCoy plowed in five plays later from two yards, putting BHS again out front, 20-16 with 9:25 remaining. Both teams' defenses took repeated turns stumping the opposing offense all the way to the exciting finish.
McCoy threw 1-of-4 for 17 to Phelps in the victory.
The win bumped Bayfield up into a tie with Florence for 11th in this week's wild-card points standings.
Tonight's regular-season finale versus Pagosa Springs starts at 6 p.m. at home. PSHS comes to town 2-2 in conference, including a 41-17 win over Alamosa, and 3-5 overall.
Eric Flores of the Valley Courier contributed to this article.