With one play, Scott Savage helped erase a forgettable third quarter. Then Avery Anderson made it a night to remember with a late, tie-breaking touchdown.
Savage's 14-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter tied it, then Anderson blasted in from 1-yard out with 1:11 left, as Pine Creek outlasted Fountain-Fort Carson 23-14 in a mistake-filled season opener for both teams.
"Last year, we came up one play short," said Savage, a senior wide receiver and defensive back who lined up at quarterback on his scoring run. "This year we figured it out as a team. We were able to make that push and get that one extra play that we needed to get that momentum swing."
Trailing 14-7 at halftime, the Eagles (1-0) opened the second half with a punt, then turned the ball over on a bad snap before two more punts. The last punt, however, was muffed by return man Justice Littrell, and Eric Warren recovered at the Trojans 35. Three plays later, Savage took the snap, went around left end and tiptoed down the sidelines before reaching out to break the plane as he soared over the pylon.
Pine Creek's defense held after missing an opportunity to take the lead on a botched field-goal attempt, and Anderson ended a seven-play drive with a short touchdown run that broke the tie.
Fountain-Fort Carson (0-1), which engineered two scoring drives in the second quarter, couldn't take advantage of great field position on two drives in the third quarter. The Trojans didn't muster a first down on a pair of drives that began in Eagles territory.
"We should have taken that further and turned that into points on the board," Trojans running back Mario Jiminez said. "We should have come out stronger than they were and come out more prepared. I feel like we came out thinking we'd roll over them."
After the tying score, the Trojans tried to stop the momentum. Quarterback Jeremiah Joiner drove his team to the Pine Creek 45 before the junior was intercepted by Kacin Nowlin with 7:38 left.
Joiner was just 2-of-11 passing for 40 yards with two interceptions.
Pine Creek also made its share of mistakes, losing two fumbles and turning the ball over once more when Eagles quarterback Tommy Lazzaro was picked off by Duane McClurkin at the Trojans 10.
That turnover, in a 7-7 game late in the second quarter, was converted into a late touchdown by the Trojans after DJ Leatimua plowed into the end zone on a 2-yard run with just 2.3 seconds left before halftime.
Lazzaro came out firing, the 6-foot-3 junior competing four of his first five passes. His 12-yard touchdown pass to Anderson on a fade to the left side gave Pine Creek a 7-0 lead with 4:55 left in the first quarter.
Lazzaro finished 9-of-17 passing for 85 yards. Savage led all rushers with 104 yards on 10 carries.
Charles Tigner had 62 yards on 14 carries for Fountain-Fort Carson, which beat Pine Creek 23-14 last season to break a four-game losing streak in the series.
"We've got to forget about our mistakes and get better," Tigner said. "Get better with every play."