Johnson's desperation pass lifts Northwood


IRVINE – The football was tipped in Brandon Johnson’s favor Friday night.

In a highly improbable flight, the Northwood quarterback’s last-ditch effort with his right arm fell into the right hands when it mattered most.

Johnson connected with Ben Langdon on a 24-yard touchdown pass and later converted a 2-point conversion to help push Northwood past Irvine, 29-28, in the teams’ Pacific Coast League opener at Portola High.

Johnson completed 13 of 21 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns, while facing Irvine (1-4-1, 0-1) – his former school. But no completion was more crucial then the final one of homecoming night for the Timberwolves (1-5, 1-0).

In the definitive play of the season so far for Northwood, Johnson and Co. faced a near-impossible fourth-and-goal at the Irvine 24. Johnson, scrambling through traffic, evaded tacklers on two occasions near the far sideline, before sneaking his arm out of the reach of a herd of tacklers and flinging the ball toward the end zone. The prayer was subsequently tipped by defenders and ended up in the arms of Langdon.

The touchdown left the Timberwolves down, 28-27, with 2:03 left, but Johnson’s 2-point conversion run up the middle provided their first lead since the second quarter.

On its ensuing possession, Irvine drove deep into Northwood territory following a late-hit penalty on the first play of the drive, but Jacob Yi’s failed 33-yard field-goal attempt on fourth down secured Northwood’s victory with 26 seconds left.

Michael Bellas caught six passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns for Northwood.

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